Uneasy Calm Prevails; Clashes In Old City, Pulwama
Life in the Valley remained paralyzed for ninth consecutive day on Sunday in the aftermath of the hanging of Muhammad Afzal Guru, who was executed in New Delhi’s Tihar Jail last Saturday. Following Afzal’s hanging authorities imposed 7-day curfew in all the ten districts of the Valley till Friday. However, Chairman of Hurriyat Conference (G) Syed Ali Shah Geelani called for a 2-day shutdown on Saturday and Sunday against the imposition of curfew and “random arrests” of youth from different pockets of the Valley.
Shops and business establishments remained closed in major districts, including Srinagar, while public transport remained off the roads, while minor clashes erupted at four places in Srinagar’s old city on Sunday.
Authorities had deployed large number of police and paramilitary CRPF men to thwart any protests. Police had laid concertina wires and deployed armored vehicles at sensitive places. In old Srinagar, police and CRPF laid razor wire and erected barricades at some roads and junctions to stop the mass movement of people.
In other parts of the city heavy contingents of police and paramilitary CRPF men were deployed to thwart any protest demonstration by the people.
Reports said that old city witnessed uneasy clam and minor protests erupted at Guru Bazar, Habba Kadal, Kani Kadal, Rajouri Kadal and Chota Bazar areas.
Reports said that groups of youth took to the streets and fought pitched battles with police and CRPF for hours together. However, no one was injured.
In Nowhatta, Khanyar and Babademb areas the youth burnt tyres to stop the movement of people. Complete strike was observed in central Kashmir’s Budgam district.
Bandipora, Sopore, Baramulla, Kupwara and Handwara areas of north Kashmir observed a complete shutdown in response to Geelani’s call.
In Bandipora town, shops, business establishments and other commercial units remained closed.
Vehicular traffic also remained off the roads except thin private transport plied on the roads. The town also witnessed heavy deployment of police and paramilitary forces.
Complete shutdown was also observed in Sopore. Shops, and other business establishments remained closed and traffic was off the roads. Authorities had deployed hundreds of police and CRPF men in the district headquarters to thwart any demonstrations.
Complete shutdown was observed Gulmarg, Narbal, Mazhama, Kanihama, Magam, Chichciloora, Dhobiwan, Kunzar, Druroo, Chandilora and Tangmarg areas of Baramulla. The shops and business establishment remained closed while as the interior areas of the region presented a deserted look.
Normal life was disrupted in Kupwara due to the strike. Shops, business establishments and fuel stations were closed due to the strike. The roads in Kupwara, Trehgam, Kralpora, Handwara and Langate remained deserted.
Reports from Ganderbal district said that all the business establishments remained closed and traffic was off the roads. Force personnel were deployed in strength in the area to thwart any protests.
Reports of complete shutdown also poured in from south Kashmir’s Islamabad (Anantnag), Pulwama, Shopian and Kulgam districts.
Business establishments remained closed and traffic was off the roads amid heavy deployment of forces.
Late in the evening, reports said that groups of youth pelted stones on police station Pulwama. Forces resorted to teargas shelling to disperse them. However DIG South Kashmir, Vijay Kumar denied attack on police station. “Some youth pelted stone on armored bunker vehicle late in the evening,” he said added that south Kashmir clam on Sunday.