Saturday May 25, 2013
Severe Restrictions and Curfews to Stop 'Quit Kashmir' RalliesSalem-News.com
Clashes ensue at peaceful protest march, 12 more people hurt
(SRINAGAR, India) - Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) troops and police on Wednesday burst tear smoke shells and fired warning shots to scuttle the rallies called by pro-freedom Hurriyat Conference in Srinagar, Baramulla and Kupwara districts. At least a dozen people were injured in the fresh clashes across the Valley.
The Hurriyat Conference (G) spearheading the ‘Quit Kashmir’ campaign had asked Srinagarites to march towards HMT, people of Baramulla and Kupwara to Sopore and Trehgam respectively to pay homage to the people who were killed by CRPF troops and police in the recent days. However, to foil the Hurriyat programme, state authorities enforced strict curfew in almost all the major towns and districts of the Valley.
Reports and eyewitnesses told Press Bureau of India that after a day’s respite, curfew was clamped in Srinagar in view of the HMT march. Thousands of CRPF troops, RAF personnel and policemen were deployed in this capital city to enforce curfew and prevented the people from marching towards the city outskirts.
However, despite stringent security, thousands of people led by Hurriyat leaders marched from various areas of Srinagar and Budgam district to HMT.Reports and eyewitnesses said that thousands of people of Arth, Chewa Rusu, Syedpora, Gotpora, Wadwun, Magam, Kanihama, Chek-I-Kawoosa, Umerabad and other areas of Central Kashmir this morning marched to the Narbal residence of slain teenage Omar Dar, son of Bashir Ahmad Dar and expressed solidarity with the family. Chanting “We want freedom,” “Islam Zindabad,” “Salam-O-Martyrs,” “Go India Go Back,” the people led by Hurriyat leaders, Mohammad Yaseen Itoo, Molvi Abdul Majeed and Imtiyaz Haider later staged pro-freedom and anti-India demonstrations at Narbal chowk. Hurriyat Conference (G) Chairman, Syed Ali Shah Geelani addressed the protesters on telephone.
In HMT, thousands of people led by senior Hurriyat leader, Peer Saif-Ullah and Raja Mehraj-ud-din staged pro-freedom and anti-India demonstrations. The protesters also visited the residence of Suhail Ahmad, son of Mohammad Yasin who was slain in CRPF and police firing on August 3 and expressed solidarity with the family.
Later, violent clashes erupted when CRPF and police intercepted the people who were returning to their respective destinations after attending the Hurriyat programme. Forces lobbed several tear smoke shells and fired warning shots to disperse the angry protesters who hurled rocks and stones on the forces. The ding-dong clashes continued for several hours. At least six people were injured in the clashes.
CRPF and police also burst tear smoke shells in main chowk, Budgam and Nagam to disperse the people who were marching towards HMT in response to the Hurriyat call. Eyewitnesses said that four people suffered injuries in the forces action.
In Yarikalan, Chadura a youth identified as Kaisar Ali, son of Ali Mohammad Ganai was arrested during pro-freedom demonstrations in the area. However, locals said that Kaisar was a pedestrian and not part of the demonstrations.
“The youth was walking past the area, when police arrested him. He was not hurling stones or shouting slogans,” Mohammad Yunus, a local said.
Meanwhile clashes broke out in Batmaloo and Fateh Kadal area of the Srinagar city this evening. Angry youth shouting pro-freedom and anti-India slogans engaged CRPF troops and police in ding-dong battles that continued till evening. Forces used several teargas canisters to disperse the stone pelting youth. At least five people, eyewitnesses said were injured in the pitched battles.
In the twin districts of Baramulla and Kupwara strict curfew was put in place to thwart the Hurriyat marches to Sopore and Trehgam.
Press Bureau of India correspondent from North Kashmir said that unprecedented security arrangements were made in Baramulla district to prevent any attempt of people to march to the neighboring Sopore town. Thousands of heavily armed troopers and policemen manned the lanes, by lanes and streets in the old city and civil lines to restrict the movement of the people. The forces had also sealed all the four vital bridges that connect old town with rest of the district to foil the Hurriyat programme.
Similar restrictions were put in place in Bumhama, Trehgam, Langate, Kralgund, Handwara and other areas of the frontier Kupwara district.
CRPF, Police Opens Fire in Kulgam, Youth Hurt
22-year-old Bashir Ahmad, son of Ghulam Rasool Rather was injured when CRPF troops and police opened fire upon hundreds of peaceful protesters in Tarigam area of Kulgam this afternoon. Bashir received bullet in his shoulder. He was rushed to hospital for treatment.
The firing triggered off violent clashes in the area. Hundreds of angry youth came out on streets and fought pitched battles with forces.
Protests and clashes were reported from Islamabad, Shopian and Pulwama districts of South Kashmir where curfew was clamped this morning.
At several places in South Kashmir, people staged pro-freedom and anti-India demonstrations after offering prayers on roads.(PBI)
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