Day 48:Kashmir under seige people in distress

Arshid Hussain/Srinagar
August 25, 2016 TOP STORIES 263 Views

Kashmir valley continued to reel under curfew and restrictions for the 48th consecutive day in the wake of violence following killing of Hizbul Mujahideen charismatic commander Burhan Muzaffar Wani. Curfew continued to be in force in five police station areas of downtown city and Batamaloo and Maisuma areas in uptown, a police official said. In south Kashmir, curfew was imposed in Pulwama district, while it continued in Anantnag town as well on Thursday to maintain law and order. Curfew was imposed in Pulwama in view of killing of a youth Amir Gul Mir in government forces action in the district on Wednesday during clashes.
According to reports, normal life remained paralyzed for the 48th consecutive day due to curfew, restrictions and separatist sponsored strike. Shops, private offices, educational institutions and petrol pumps remained closed while public transport continued to be off roads. The attendance in government offices and banks was completely affected, the official said. Mobile Internet also continued to remain suspended in the entire Valley, where the outgoing facility on prepaid mobiles remained barred. The separatist camp, which is spearheading the agitation in the Valley over the civilian killings during the protests against Wani’s killing, has extended the strike call in the Valley till September 1.
As many as 70 persons, including two cops, have been killed and several thousand others injured in the clashes that began on July 9, a day after Wani was killed in an encounter with government forces in Kokernag area of south Kashmir’s Anantnag district.
Reports said that a youth was injured on Thursday after he was hit by a tear-gas shell fired by government forces on Thursday in north Kashmir’s Bandipora area.
Eyewitnesses said that clashes broke out in Qazipora Bandipora when youth were holding a protest rally and forces fired tear-gas canisters to disperse them. The injured youth has been identified as Asif Ahmed Sheikh of Qazipora. Sheikh was shifted to Sub District Hospital Bandipora for treatment. Earlier, clashes erupted in Kaloosa area of the district when youth tried to hold a protest rally against the civilian killings in Kashmir. However, a huge posse of police and paramilitary forces intercepted them and fired several tear smoke shells.The clashes continued for hours resulting in the injuries of dozens of protesters including government forces personnel.
Government forces according to reports wrecked havoc in Prichoo area of Pulwama forcing people to flee their homes and take shelter in paddy fields and neighbouring villages.
The ‘highhandedness’ comes a day after an 18 year old boy was killed and over a 100 were injured, many of them critically, as government forces fired pellets and bullets on unarmed civilians.
Reports from the area said that the government forces barged into houses in Prichoo village and vandalized property and thrashed anybody who came their way.
“The terrified villagers fled their homes and took shelter elsewhere. The village tells a tale of absolute destruction,” a local said.
They alleged hundreds of residential houses have been ransacked and looted in the area since Thursday morning.
In Hanjiveera Pattan, locals alleged that police resorted to intense tear gas shelling injuring dozens of persons especially those who were spending time on shop fronts. “The area was peaceful. Some youth were present on shop fronts. Police arrives and fired tear-smoke shells on them, injuring dozens of them. This is injustice and a move to instigate people for protests,” the locals said.
A police official said that situation remained peaceful all across Kashmir and no stone-pelting incident was reported from any part of the Valley.
Meanwhile, Zonal Police Headquarters, Kashmir said, six incidents of stone pelting were reported from Srinagar, Sopore, Kupwara and Bandipora on Thursday. “These incidents were reported from Lawaypora in Srinagar, Hatlangoo; Warpora in Sopore, Khurhama in Kupwara, Watpora; Kaloosa in Bandipora,” the statement said.
It said apart from these incidents, overall situation remained under control across and valley till filing of this report.
The Statement said that following improvement in the situation, increased movement of vehicular traffic and people was observed in most parts of Kashmir including Srinagar city. “However, curfew remained in force under the areas of few Police stations of Srinagar, town Anantnag, Pulwama and Pampore,” it said.

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