Police on Saturday used tear-smoke shells on protesters to clear road for the Social Welfare Minister in South Kashmir’s Kulgam district. The protesters had blocked the road near Bogund Kulgam against non-availability of electricity and were demanding installation of power transformer in the area.
According to reports amid anti-government and Power Development Department (PDD) slogans, hundreds of people blocked Kulgam Islamabad road near Bogund Kulgam. The protesters alleged that from past one month scores of hamlets of Kulgam are reeling under darkness while PDD shows no seriousness to end their woes.
“Our area is reeling under darkness from past one month. The transformer needed a minor repairing but even after the expiry of one month, PDD did not install transformer in Bogund area. The PDD officials play with us and are never interested in addressing our problems,” Irshad Ahmed a protester told CNS.
Eyewitnesses told CNS that the police resorted to teargas shelling on peaceful protesters to clear the road for Social Welfare Minister Sakina Itoo. “The cavalcade of the Minister was stopped by the protesters. Police swung into action and tried to disperse the protestors by using tear smoke shelling. As people ran here and there, the cavalcade of the Minister moved ahead,” an eyewitness told CNS adding that few youth were injured in police action.
A youth identified as Hilal Ahmed Ganaie received 3 stitches in his head. Reports said that even after the teargas shelling, protesters did not budge and continued to raise slogans against police, government and PDD.
Superintendent of Police Kulgam Mumtaz Ahmed told CNS some ‘unscrupulous elements’ resorted to stone pelting when cavalcade of Social Welfare Minister reached on spot. “We used some tear smoke shells to disperse the protesters,” he said adding that no one was injured in police action.