Violent protests erupted when curfew was lifted after four days in south Kashmir’s Pulwama town on Tuesday, resulting in fresh injuries to civilians of which one is stated to be critical.
However, police refuted any action against the protesters and termed it as a ‘rumor of Facebook’. But later in the day, Police confirmed the reports of stone pelting in its statement.
It reads, “Some miscreants pelted stones at Muran Chowk which forced traders to shut down their shops. While as police exercising maximum restrain and chased them away. Two policemen were also injured in the incident.”
Authorities on Tuesday lifted four-day long curfew from Pulwama town following improvement in law and order situation in the area. As the shopkeepers went to reopen their shops, they allegedly found that police and government forces had damaged their shutters and ransacked the temporary sheds housing shops of some locals.
“As we reached to restart our daily routine, we found that the shutters of our shops were damaged. Dozens of temporary sheds were ransacked. So we did not open our shops and demanded the district authorities to come on spot but they did not turn up,” Bashir Ahmad, a local shopkeeper told Kashmir Life over phone.
The tension brewed once again and hundreds started shouting anti-police and anti-forces’ slogans. By then, the authorities redeployed the forces and ding-dong battles erupted in the town. The situation took a violent turn and hundreds of youth started pelting stones on the men in uniform who retaliated by teargas shelling.
The violent protests spread in the town, resulting in the injuries to many protesters. Local alleged that a youth, Zubair Pandit was hit by a teargas shell which hit his face and he was shifted to government dental college.
But police refuted the allegation, saying the youth was hit by a Tata sumo vehicle and nobody was injured in the police action. “It is a Facebook rumor that a youth got injured by the teargas shell. The fact is that the youth was hit by a Sumo,” police spokesman told Kashmir Life.
Curfew was imposed in Pulwama town on Thursday afternoon following massive protests against firing by forces that resulted in injuries to nine civilians.