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Hundreds of youth have gone into hiding as Army, Police and CRPF have intensified night raids to pick up those involved in stone-pelting and protests.

Reliable sources said that Ms Mehbooba Mufti led government has given “all powers to police and directed them to take stern action against protesters”.

Sources added that night raids are being conducted in North, Central and South Kashmir while people alleged that such raids are conducted to harass and “intimidate” local residents.

Reports said that during nocturnal raids police, CRPF and Army jointly arrested five youth including two brothers from Baharabad, Vijpara and Shahgund areas of Sonawari Constituency in Baramulla district.

The arrested youths have been identified as Bilal Ahmed Koul and Ashiq Ahmed Koul sons of Ghulam Muhammad, Bilal Ahmed Parrey son of Muhammad Jamal, Tariq Ahmed Lone son of Abdul Majeed and Manzoor Ahmed Dar son of Sona Ullah Dar.

The arrest spree sparked protest in different parts of Sonawari while a large number of people including women hit to roads and amid pro-freedom slogans demanded the release of arrested youth.

Massive protests were also held in Ownagam village of north Kashmir’s Bandipora district on Thursday against the arrest of a shopkeeper.
Reports said that hundreds of men, women and children took part in the protest to press for the release of the shopkeeper.

People have been alleging that forces targets family members when they don’t find youth present in the houses.

“Policemen lobbed a tear-gas shell into my house when they don’t find my son in the house. They went on rampage and caused damage to electronic appliances. This has been happening from last three days and now we have migrated to the other area, leaving our house at the mercy of neighbours,” Ghulam Nabi a resident of Zaindar Mohalla Habbakadal said.

A local from Syed Akbar New Fateh Kadal said that his wife and children were frightened when government forces during a raid tossed a pepper grenade inside their house.

“These State Forces have been crossing all the limits and they care a fig about the little children and women,” said Qayoom Zulfi.

Reports of night raids and arrests also poured from scores of areas across Kashmir.

At least 9 persons were injured in Kangan when police arrested two youth from the town. People hit to roads and fought pitched battles with forces who retaliated with tear-smoke shells.


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