Kashmir protests granting domicile certificates to WP refugees

KL News Network

Kashmir

Kashmir Valley Friday witnessed a complete shutdown on the call of joint resistance leadership led by Hurriyat patriarch Syed Ali Geelani, Kashmir’s head priest Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and JKLF chief Yasin Malik. The trio is spearheading the current uprising in the valley.

Pertinently, the trio had asked people to protest against the granting of domicile certificates to West Pakistan Refugees (WPR’s).

All the shops and business establishments remained shut while there was very thin movement of public and private transport on the roads.

Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) Chief Yasin Malik was detained after he tried to stage a protest against the government’s move to issue domicile certificates to West Pakistan refugees.

Witnesses said that Malik tried to march towards the city centre Lal Chowk along with his supporters from Dastgeer Sahib shrine in Sarai Bala area of Srinagar after congregational Friday prayers.

Mirwaiz Umar Farooq who addressed people outside Jamia Masjid shortly after the culmination of Friday congregational prayers denounced the government move of issuing domicile certificates to refugees.

He said that the government move will be resisted with tooth and nail and nobody will be allowed to change the demographic character of the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

Chanting pro-freedom and anti-government slogans, the protesters dubbed the reported government move as “State dictatorship”. Mirwaiz and the protesters were carrying banners with messages “No Domicile for West Pakistan refugees. Stop State Dictatorship’, “we want freedom” and ‘Down With SARFAESI Act”.

Eyewitnesses said that shortly after the culmination of Friday congregational prayers at grand mosque Jamia Masjid, hundreds of youth amid pro-freedom slogans took to roads and clashed with the deployed government forces. The protesters resorted to heavy stone-pelting while government forces responded with tear-smoke shells. The clashes between protesters and the government forces continued for hours.

Clashes erupted in Sopore town after Friday prayers as according to eyewitnesses government forces used force to disperse the civilian protesters who were demanding action against those who injured nine-year-old boy last week during stone pelting incident in the area. Protesters demanded that police should identify the culprits and book them.

Police fired teargas shells to disperse the protesters, eyewitnesses said. “Youth in scores took to streets hurling stones amid pro-freedom slogans on forces resulting in intense clashes.”

Clashes between protesters and the government forces were also reported from Papchan area of Bandipora district.

Forces according to eyewitnesses used tear-smoke shells to disperse protesters who were protesting against the “Indian rule” in Kashmir.

In southern part of Kashmir’s Kulgam district, a protest was led by separatist leader Abdul Samad Inqalabi in Bogam area of the district. Amid pro-freedom slogans, the protesters marched through roads and reiterated that they will continue to protest till India rules here. The protesters waved green flags and shouted anti-India slogans.

Clashes between civilian protesters and forces were also reported from Tral town of Pulwama district in southern part of Kashmir. Reports said that protesters hurled rocks on the deployed security personnel who retaliated with tear-smoke shells.

A police official said that barring few stray incidents of stone-pelting the situation across Valley remained peaceful. (CNS)

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