#Day53: Pro-Freedom Rallies, Clashes, Raids Continue; Another 100 Injured

KL NEWS NETWORK

SRINAGAR

Pro-freedom protests erupted in Batamaloo area followed by clashes on August 30, 2016. (KL Images: Bilal Bahadur)
Pro-freedom protests erupted in Batamaloo area followed by clashes on August 30, 2016. (KL Images: Bilal Bahadur)

J&K Government on Tuesday said that it lifted curfew from Pulwama town as well while it remained in force at two places in Srinagar’s those areas which come under M R Gunj and Nowhatta Police Stations.

However, there was not let up in pro-freedom and anti-India rallies which were held across Kashmir today.

Ms Mehbooba Mufti led PDP-BJP coalition government lifted curfew from Kashmir on Monday, after 51 days of continuous clampdown on mass uprising. It continued in three areas.

A scene from Panzath Qazigund rally on August 30, 2016. (KL Image: Shah Hilal)
A scene from Panzath Qazigund rally on August 30, 2016. (KL Image: Shah Hilal)

Although there was brisk movement of private and government vehicles in Lal Chowk and adjoining areas, protests and clashes erupted across the valley injuring around 100 persons on straight 53rd day of mass civil anti-establishment uprising.

Early in the day, clashes erupted in Batamaloo area of Srinagar city after forces tried to stop a pro-freedom march of locals. The area had witnessed massive violent clashes a day before as well.

Batamaloo on August 30, 2016.
Batamaloo on August 30, 2016.

Witnesses said that hundreds of people were part of a rally raising pro-freedom and anti-India slogans when men in uniform fired tear smoke shells to disperse them resulting in clashes.

The exchange of stones and tear-smoke shells created panic in the area while more than a dozen people were wounded in these clashes. At least five persons were injured in the clashes.

Photojournalists covering these clashes alleged that a police driver from Shaheed Gunj police station used abusive language and even tried to manhandle them.

The police driver fled from the scene after the media men registered a protest against him.

Women participants in Panzath Qazigund rally on August 30, 2016. (KL Image: Shah Hilal)
Women participants in Panzath Qazigund rally on August 30, 2016. (KL Image: Shah Hilal)

Meanwhile, the locals from various areas of Batamaloo locality alleged that paramilitary CRPF personnel ransacked their houses and beat up the inmates.

“CRPF men barged into our house, beat four of our family members, abused us and smashed the glasses of our windows,” said a Bunpora resident on the condition of anonymity.

He said the paramilitary troopers barged into the house when they were making preparations to send food and other relief material to various city hospitals.

“There was no stone-pelting going on in the area that time and yet they abused and harassed us,” he said.

A senior photo-journalist’s home was ransacked by forces personnel. Danish Ismail, who works with international news gathering agency, was not home when his house was attacked. His wife had fainted when the incident took place.

A civilian being beaten up by forces in Batamaloo area of Srinagar on August 30, 2016. (KL Image: Bilal Bahadur)
A civilian being beaten up by forces in Batamaloo area of Srinagar on August 30, 2016. (KL Image: Bilal Bahadur)

Stone-pelting incidents were also reported from Chanapora, Noorbagh, Seki Dafar, Barzulla, Maloora (Shalteng) and Kak Sarai areas of the city where police used tear-gas shells to disperse the protesters.

Reports said that clashes broke out on early Tuesday morning in Bandipora’s Kaloosa and Potushai areas between people and forces when police party was making rounds around the market area.

Police used tear-smoke shells to disperse the protesters who amid pro-freedom slogans demanded the release of youth from detention centres. At least 15 persons were injured in the clashes. A tear gas canister hit and cut down a live LT wire which hit the road.

A lady showing tear gas canister shell and cartridge of bullets fired in air by forces in Mehmoodabad Nathipotra, Dooru in Islamabad disitrict on August 30, 2016. (KL Image: Shah Hilal)
A lady showing tear gas canister shell and cartridge of bullets fired in air by forces in Mehmoodabad Nathipotra, Dooru in Islamabad district on August 30, 2016 while damaging private property. (KL Image: Shah Hilal)

Reports said that traders staged a peaceful sit-in at the main market in Bandipora while protests erupted at several places in the district.

Witnesses said that a peaceful sit-in was staged by the traders to “send a message to people and the leadership that the on-going uprising would continue until its logical conclusion.” Later, clashes erupted in the same area.

Protests were held in Ajas and Saderkoot Payeen areas of the district against the barbarity of army in the area late Monday evening.

The forces damaged widows and other private property in Mehmoodabad Nathipotra, Dooru in Islamabad. (KL Image: Shah Hilal)
The forces damaged widows and other private property in Mehmoodabad Nathipotra, Dooru in Islamabad. (KL Image: Shah Hilal)

Locals from Ajas and Soodnora took to roads and lodged protests against the high-handedness of forces.

People said that forces roughed up civilians without provocation on Monday evening.

At least a dozen people were injured while some of them were shifted to Srinagar hospital for treatment after government forces including Army beat up locals and ransacked their houses.

Reports from Apple Town Sopore said that a pro-freedom protest was held in Hathlangoo area of the town in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district.

People, including women and elderly, took part in the demonstration to demand resolution of the Kashmir issue by implementing UN resolutions.

Pertinently, resistance leadership had appealed women to assemble and occupy local Chowks and centres from Zuhr to Asr prayers and stage peaceful protests against “Indian occupation”.

Hundreds of women in north Kashmir’s Palhallan took out a pro-freedom rally while raising pro-freedom slogans on Tuesday.

Reports said women from different villages of Palhallan area of Baramulla district marched through the streets and gathered at a local Eidgah in the locality before dispersing off peacefully.

Forces raided Panzath village of Qazigund ahead of the rally resulting in clashes. (KL Image: Shah Hilal)
Forces raided Panzath village of Qazigund ahead of the rally resulting in clashes. (KL Image: Shah Hilal)

Witnesses said that women were holding placards while shouting pro-freedom and anti-India slogans.

“We don’t want freedom from corruption, malpractices and nepotism. We want freedom from India and that is our demand. We will continue to protest and hit to roads till we don’t get what we want,” said a protester.

“The rally was held peacefully in Palhallan Eidgah and many speakers addressed them,” sources said.

The speakers asked women to “be shoulder to shoulder with each other in seeking our cherished goal”.

“It was lively conference where young girls addressed the conference,” sources said, “they stressed on unity and steadfastness amongst the Kashmiris.”

The sources said that volunteers led by elders of the area managed it “and there was no disturbance at all”.

The conference commenced around 2 pm and ended at 4:30 pm.

Hundreds of women particiapted in a rally in Botengoo, Sopore. (KL Image: Mohammad Abu Bakr)
Hundreds of women particiapted in a rally in Botengoo, Sopore. (KL Image: Mohammad Abu Bakr)

“Later, when women were on their way to their respective homes, forces lobbed several tear gas canisters on Srinagar-Muzaffarabad highway,” sources said, “the forces action was, however, brief.”

Correspondent reports coming from Sopore town said that thousands of women took out a pro-freedom rally in Botengoo area.

Witnessed said thousands of women attended the peaceful rally amid anti-India and pro-freedom slogans.

The joint resistance leadership has asked people to hold pro-freedom marches in Kashmir.

Meanwhile, Dukhtaran-e-Millat held a rally in Mohammadpora Kulgam, in which hundreds of female participated.

Amid pro-freedom slogans, different speakers of DeM requested women to stay firm in this “resistance struggle.”

Tehreek-e-Hurriyat Islamabad chief, Mir Hafizullah, addressing Panzath pro-freedom rally on August 30, 2016.
Tehreek-e-Hurriyat Islamabad chief, Mir Hafizullah, addressing Panzath pro-freedom rally on August 30, 2016. (KL Image: Shah Hilal)

“Women have been subjected to grave atrocities by the forces, it is our responsibility to remain firm and support our freedom struggle. Without our unyielding efforts the struggle will not proceed,” said a speaker.

At least 60 protesters were injured on Tuesday after forces resorted to tear gas shelling in Qazigund and Wathoo areas of Kulgam and Shopian districts, respectively.

Local sources said that freedom rallies were scheduled at both the places and people in large numbers were on way to the venues, however, forces used force to disperse them.

They said at least 60 persons sustained injuries in both the incidents adding people reassembled and organized the proposed pro-freedom rallies.

People of Mehmoodabad, Dooru in Islamabad district accused forces of harassment and ransacking.

A large number of people in these areas staged anti-India protests.

Clashes broke out in Frestabal Pampore area of Pulwama district where youths attacked forces with stones.

In retaliation, forces fired tear-smoke shells. The clashes continued for hours disrupting the movement of traffic on Srinagar-Jammu highway.

A local from Srindhu Kulgam was shifted to SKIMS after the received serious pellet injuries during night protests in the area.

Eyewitnesses said that the nocturnal raid and subsequent detention of three people from Srindhu village sparked violent protests.

People in large numbers hit roads and clashed with forces who in retaliation resorted to aerial firing.

The forces also used tear-smoke shells and pellets on the protesters resulting in the injuries of a local who immediately was removed to SKIMS Srinagar for treatment.

Locals identified the wounded youth as Ghulam Jeelani Bhat son of Ghulam Muhammad a resident of Srindhu village of Kulgam district.

KL Image: Shah Hilal
KL Image: Shah Hilal

Several people, including an elderly woman, were injured after government forces ransacked houses in Dooru village of south Kashmir’s Islamabad district.

Witnesses and reports said that people took to streets after forces ransacked houses in Mehmoodabad village and beat up the inmates.

Forces, they said, fired pellet guns and lobbed teargas shells to disperse the protesters.

 Many people, including 60-year-old Sara Bano, were injured in the forces’ action.

Bano has received injuries in her head and chest and is being treated at Sub-district hospital Dooru.

A 55-year-old man, identified as Ghulam Hassan Bhat, was also detained by the forces, said the residents, adding that the forces have spread a “reign of terror” in the area.

Similar reports came from Trehgam area of North Kashmir’s Kupwara district where youths and forces clashes with each other. Local reports said that several youths were hit and injured by pellets. They were locally treated.

Meanwhile, late evening protests erupted in Hyderpora, Maloora and Shalteng areas of Srinagar.

One youth who belonged to Hyderpora was arrested from a nearby area. Announcements were made on a Masjid loudspeaker asking people to come on roads. The people held protests on Srinagar international airport road.

Similar reports reached from Maloora and Shalteng when forces raided the areas.

Hundreds of people came out on holding anti-India protests. They continued till late Tuesday night.

Meanwhile, following the calendar issued by the resistance leadership, markets opened in Srinagar’s Lal Chowk and Islamabad district’s main town. However shoppers in Goni Khan and Hari Singh High Street areas of Srinagar said that para-military CRPF chases them away.

Resistance leadership Program for the day:

30th August (Tuesday; relaxation from 6 pm to 6 am)

Women’s Protest

Assemble and occupy local Chowks and centers from Zuhr to Asr in the vicinity of your Mohallas, villages and localities; protest peacefully.

(With inputs from Current News Service.)

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