Strike disrupts normal life in Kashmir

Kaiser Andrabi

Srinagar

Normal life in valley remained disrupted on Friday, while authorities imposed restrictions in Maisuma and detained JKLF leader Muhammad Yasin Malik to quell possible protests.

The movement of people and transport was comparatively less due to apprehensions of law and order after congregational prayers.

Shops, fuel stations and other business establishments remained shut in most parts of Kashmir due to the shutdown call of resistance leadership

In Srinagar, authorities detained Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) Chief Yasin Malik after he tried to march towards Lal Chowk in Srinagar.

A JKLF spokesman said that Malik was taken into custody after he tried to stage a pro-freedom demonstration in Lal Chowk.

Before his detention, Malik expressed his concern over the plight of prisoners lodged in various jails of the state. He demanded the release of all the persons detained during the on-going uprising.

However, government lifted curbs from the residence of Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and allowed him to deliver sermon at historic Jamia Masjid Nowhatta after 20 consecutive Fridays.

After the killing of popular militant commander Burhan Muzaffar Wani, Mirwaiz was put under detention in sub-jail Cheshmashahi. However, he was later shifted and detained at his Nigeen residence.

Mirwaiz led a huge procession from Jamia Masjid that culminated at Rajouri Kadal.

Addressing the rally, Mirwaiz asked “anti-movement elements” to desist from their activities. He said that if these elements will continue to support and work for government agencies their names will be made public.

Clashes erupted shortly after Friday congregational prayers in Batamaloo area of Srinagar city when a large number of protesting youth hit to road near Reka Chowk and pelted stones on government forces who according to witnesses retaliated with pellets. The clashes continued for hours there.

In Baramulla, intense clashes erupted in Sopore town of the district after Friday prayers, reports said.

They said that after Friday prayers people in large numbers assembled in Jamia Masjid area of the Sopore town and started shouting pro-freedom and anti-India slogans.

“They later started marching towards main chowk. However, police and paramilitary forces were deployed there in strength.” Witnesses said that the presence of forces enraged some youth who started pelting stones at the security forces and police. Police and paramilitary forces retaliated and resorted to massive teargas shelling.

Meanwhile, people in Tahab area of Pulwama district staged a protest against the arrest spree. They hit to roads and raised pro-freedom slogans. The protesters said that during the intervening night of Thursday and Friday police conducted nocturnal raids and arrested more than 25 people.

They said that at around 12 during the night the village was cordoned and police and paramilitary forces amid shrieks of people, in large numbers started entering homes.

“Police wreaked havoc by smashing windowpanes and damaging properties,” the locals alleged.

Confirming the arrests, a police official said that they are all involved in stone-pelting incidents and anti-India protests.

Reports said that “pro-freedom” protests were also held in Newa and Aarihal area of Pulwama district.

Meanwhile the Dooru area of Islamabad district where a civilian was killed on Thursday night witnessed strict curfew and restrictions. People were not allowed to venture out from their houses, locals said.

A police official said that barring stray stone-pelting incidents the situation across Valley remained peaceful.

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