#Day41: People Form ‘Committees’ In South To ‘Counter’ Night Raids; MLA Shopian’s House Stoned

Shaikh Hilal

SRINAGAR

Coming out with yet another out-of-box move, people in South Kashmir have formed ‘committees’ which will be patrolling streets during the night.

The move, locals said, helps in “saving people from being arrested”.

“In every village, watchman committees 10-15 youths have been formed,” a local from Shopian said, “these youths have been tasked to patrol major junctions so as to keep watch on men in uniform.”

At least 67 civilians have been killed by forces while over 7500 persons have been injured in last 41 days in Kashmir during mass protests. At least 1500 persons have been arrested and are lodged in various jails and police stations.

“Forces are raiding Mohallas and villages in the dead of night and arresting youths,” a Shopian youth said, “so as to save ourselves from being arrested and implicating in cases, people are alarmed and man their own areas with strict vigil during night as well.”

As the day long protests continue and refuse to die, the defiant people have found an easy way to raise the alarm through Masjid loudspeakers.

Last time, it was in North Kashmir’s Palhallan that people came out on roads in the dead of night after someone raised alarm that forces have come for raids. The forces chased the forces and slept late mid-night.

In another instance, last late night same ‘watchman committee’ sensed that a forces party was raiding Meemandar area of Shopian.

“The youths on duty raised alarm and announced through loudspeakers that forces are raiding the village,” locals said, “people came out and stone pelting started and forces were chased out.”

“People restored to stone pelting on the residence of local MLA,” locals said. Adv Mohammad Yousuf Bhat is PDP MLA representing Shopian in state legislature.

“He was not present in the house,” sources said, “but the bunkers guarding the residence were set ablaze, however, cops and their ammunition is safe.”

Meanwhile, a big pro-freedom rally is going on in Harmain area of Shopian district. “Around 30000 people are attending it,” reports said.

Many speakers addressed it who impressed upon people to “show steadfastness in continuing the freedom struggle”.

Locals had prepared food for the people who have come from South Kashmir parts to attend the rally while people are being served special drinking water and ice creams as well.

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