#Day52: Protests, Shutdown Continue; Clashes Erupt At Many Places, Dozens Injured

KL NEWS NETWORK

SRINAGAR

Massive pro-freedom protests erupted in Batamaloo on August 29, 2016. (KL Image: Bilal Bahadur)
Massive pro-freedom protests erupted in Batamaloo on August 29, 2016. (KL Image: Bilal Bahadur)

First day since popular militant commander Burhan Wani was killed by forces in Bemdoora area of Islamabad district in South Kashmir, the government decided to lift curfew from Kashmir except three places.

Curfew was imposed across Kashmir when mass protests erupted on July 09, 2016 and spread to breadth and length of valley. Over the span of time, at least 71 civilians were killed while over 9000 persons were injured.

Pro-freedom protests, rallies and clashes continued and people continued to be taken under arrest during these days. The lifting of curfew today, however, had no impact despite brisk movement of private and government vehicles in Lal Chowk, Jawahar Nagar and Raj Bagh areas.

KL Images: Bilal Bahadur
Roads blocked in Batamaloo on August 29, 2016. (KL Images: Bilal Bahadur)

The movement of vehicles came down drastically as protests erupted but forces came down heavily firing tear gas canisters, pellets and sometimes resorted to aerial firing as well.

Despite lifting of curfew and restrictions forces had been deployed in strength across Kashmir. However, it remained under force in Pulwama town and the areas falling under the jurisdiction of Police station M R Gunj and Police Station Nowhatta.

Educational institutions, shops and business establishments continued to remain closed due to the shutdown called by resistance leadership.

Hurriyat patriarch Syed Ali Geelani continues to be under house arrest; Mirwaiz has been lodged at sub-jail Chasma Shahi while Muhammad Yasin Malik has been lodged in Central Jail.

Peer Saifullah, the personal secretary of Geelani, is not keeping well and has been admitted in SKIMS Soura under police custody.

Clashes erupted in Batamaloo area of Srinagar on August 29, 2016. (KL Image: Bilal Bahadur)
Clashes erupted in Batamaloo area of Srinagar on August 29, 2016. (KL Image: Bilal Bahadur)

Mobile Internet and incoming call facility on pre-paid mobile phones continues to remain suspended.

The government had to curfew re-impose-like restrictions in different parts of Kashmir after protests and clashes erupted.

In summer capital, clashes broke out in various areas including Batamaloo, Kani Kadal, Chota Bazar, Nowhatta, Eidgah, Nawpora, Sazgaripora Hawal, Kak Sarai, Karan Nagar, Habbakadal and other areas.

Witnesses said that clashes erupted between youths and forces in Batamaloo area.

The protesters tried to march towards Batamaloo Bus Stand, but police and paramilitary forces intercepted them near the busy bay and resorted to aerial firing besides firing several tear-gas shells to disperse them.

The protestors emerged from many sub-localities of Ziyarat Batamaloo, Bazaar Batamaloo, Rekki Chowk, Danderkhah and other adjoining areas.

Locals said forces barged into residential houses and beat up the pedestrians.

Hundreds of men, women and children in Nowgam-Shahabad in Islamabad district came out on roads seeking release of youths. (KL Image: Shah Hilal)
Hundreds of men, women and children in Nowgam-Shahabad in Islamabad district came out on roads seeking release of youths. (KL Image: Shah Hilal)

Reports said that youths from the interior localities of Batamaloo areas also came out in large numbers and started protesting while shouting pro-freedom and anti-India slogans while they played Azadi songs from loud speakers.

Intense clashes were also reported from other parts of city. Reports said that forces used pellets and burst tear-smoke shells to disperse the protesters who chanted pro-freedom slogans.

Several persons were injured during the clashes at Sazgaripora Hawal when forces fired tear-smoke shells to disperse them. Police lobbed tear-smoke shells and fired pellets to thwart the protest march near Saida Kadal Srinagar.

In Kani Kadal area, many people including were injured when forces lobbed tear gas canisters and fired pellets. They damaged private property as well, locals said.

One 18 year old girl was hit by a tear gas hell and was injured. She belonged to Fatehpora area and was rushed to Ganderbal hospital.

Reports from Central Kashmir’s Budgam district said that clashes broke out and protests were held in various parts of the district.

Reports added that number of people was wounded during these clashes.

Clashes broke out in Mazhama Budgam against the detention of a local youth.

People took to streets in Mazhama on Srinagar-Gulmarg highway to protest against the detention of a youth, reportedly under the draconian Public Safety Act (PSA).

The protesters pelted stones on the forces to show their anger at the arrest of youth, who was identified as Ajaz Ahmad Wani. Similar reports of protests and stone-pelting were also received from nearby Kanihama area.

One of the injured youths in forces action on August 29, 2016 at SMHS Hospital Srinagar.
One of the injured youths in forces action on August 29, 2016 at SMHS Hospital Srinagar.

Clashes also broke out in Kremshora village of Khan Sahib area of Budgam district after forces tried to break up a pro-freedom rally.

People marched in a freedom rally in Kremshora village when forces fired teargas shells and resorted to aerial firing to disperse the marchers.

This triggered clashes that continued for hours. Locals alleged that forces caused damage to parked vehicles and pelted stones on the residential houses.

Several people were injured during clashes in Hangigund area of Chadoora in Budgam district.

Reports said that people staged a massive protest against the ransacking of houses when the forces fired teargas shells to disperse the protesters.

According to reports clashes broke out in north Kashmir’s Bandipora between youths and forces.

Witnesses said that people protested near Kaloosa Higher Secondary School against the beating of an elderly man allegedly by army late last night.

The protesters said Muhammad Shafi Bhat (55), son of late Muhammad Ismail, resident of Bhat Mohalla Bala Watpora, was hit with gun butts when he came out of his house to take a stroll after dinner.

He was rushed to district hospital where he had to get eleven stitches, said a protester, while demanding action against the erring troopers.

Police and paramilitary CRPF personnel used force to disperse the protesters, triggering clashes. The locals too out a pro-freedom rally which was later intercepted at Kaloosa near Higher Secondary School. Locals termed today’s protests as “vigorous pushing forces to corner”.

In main town Bandipora, the shopkeepers took out a pro-freedom rally and dispersed off peacefully later. In Ashtango area, the protestors stopped government employees from proceeding towards their offices. Similar reports were received from Baramulla town.

Kashmir's ace artist, Masood Hussain, describing the current Kashmir situation in his latest portrait.
Kashmir’s ace artist, Masood Hussain, describing the current Kashmir situation in his latest portrait.

In Ajas area of Bandipora district, local said that “under a well-hatched plan” Rashtriya Rifles personnel came I several vehicles and beat up the local residents.

“They came damaging whatever came in their way,” a local said. The local added that many youths were first arrested, beaten and later released on the spot. “This created fear in the area.”

The locals said that many persons were injured who were shifted to hospitals.

Later, massive protests erupted in the area.

Locals sources in Ajas said that later army is said to have entered nearby Soodnoora village people faced same fate. At least 15 persons were injured in the forces action.

In Baramulla district, clashes also broke out in Sangrama area in Baramulla district after forces detained four local youths.

Witnesses said that the youths were visiting a Bank for some transactions in Bangdara Choor area when forces picked them up. The detentions triggered clashes in the area.

Witnesses said that forces used tear-smoke shells to disperse the protesters while people attacked them with stones.

At least 10 persons were injured after Army and CRPF jointly thrashed protesters.

Locals informed that after a mild protest, Army barged into the houses and hit people with gun butts. Ten persons sustained injuries while some of them were shifted to Srinagar hospital.

In Palhallan town, local sources said that fearing raid by forces, many roads were blocked in the area in the day, however, in the evening intense clashes erupted near Misra Gali.

Reports said that clashes erupted in Delina area in the evening. Some damage has been done to private property.

“The clashes continued for over an hour in which around 4 persons were injured who were treated locally,” sources said.

Reports from Kupwara said that protests were held at several places.

Three youths were injured when forces fired pellets and tear gas wheels on protestors on Monday afternoon in Trehgam village. “There was no relaxation here as curfew like restrictions remained imposed on the 52 day,” locals said.

Protests erupted in Liver and Sallar villages of South Kashmir’s Islamabad district when forces according to locals went on a rampage and ransacked the houses.

The protesters alleged that forces misbehaved with women and beat them up.

Witnesses said that large number of people from these hamlets took to roads and organized anti-India and pro-freedom protests.

They also castigated Chief Minister Ms Mehbooba Mufti for giving free hand to the forces.

The residents of Liver village, near the tourist resort of Pahalgam, in south Kashmir alleged that army and Special Operations Group (SOG) of J&K Police barged into their homes and beat up the inmates.

A resident said that the forces’ personnel ransacked the houses and beat up the inmates.

Early in the morning, protests erupted in Nowgam-Shahabad with people demanding release of a local youth.

Clashes erupted in Arham village of Verinag after forces personnel did not allow people to take out a rally. The clashes continued throughout the day.

However, people in thousands attended a pro-freedom rally at Shoal village of Battengoo in Islamabad. The participants dispersed off peacefully.

Protests were held in Samboora Pampore in Pulwama district after police raided various houses and arrested two persons whom locals identified as Ghulam Muhammad Reshi and Umar Nabi.

Reports coming from Pampore said that youths resorted to stone pelting in the area this evening.

Later in the day, J&K Police said, “following improvement in situation, curfew was lifted from all parts of Kashmir valley except Pulwama town and the areas falling under the jurisdiction of Police station M R Gunj and Police Station Nowhatta.”

“Minor incidents of stone pelting were reported from Srinagar, Islamabad, Kulgam, Sopore, Kupwara and Bandipora. “These incidents were reported from Guzarbal, Babademb, Saidpora, Batamaloo, Chanapora in Srinagar, Sangam in Islamabad, Gandwani, Shol Batango in Kulgam, Nadihal Chowk in Sopore, Brambari, Rekhipora in Kupwara and Kaloosa in Bandipora,” the statement said adding, “some miscreants in their effort to disturb the situation pelted stones on police and security force deployments in these areas.”

“Except for these incidents, overall situation remained peaceful and under control throughout the Kashmir valley till filling of this report. Greater movement of traffic and people was observed across the valley including the city Srinagar,” it said.

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