Curfew, restrictions in Srinagar, Sopore Scores injured in clashes amid shutdown
Srinagar, May 1: Amid shutdown, protests and clashes erupted in various parts of Kashmir Thursday against the killing of a youth in CRPF firing at Nawakadal here on Wednesday evening, while parts of Srinagar and Sopore were put under curfew.
Clashes were reported from Baramulla, Bandipora, Pulwama, Kupwara and Tral towns, leaving scores of persons including four cops injured. A critically injured youth Reyaz Ahmad Rishi of Bandipora who was hit by a stone was shifted to Srinagar for treatment.
Shutdown was called by Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman, Syed Ali Geelani, JKLF chairman, Muhammad Yasin Malik, Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and some other separatist organizations.
Authorities imposed curfew in the areas falling under the jurisdiction of seven police stations of old Srinagar including MR Gunj, Khanyar, Rainawari, Nowhatta, Safakadal, Kralkhud, Lal Bazar and Zadibal.
Restrictions were imposed in Maisuma area of Srinagar and Sopore town of district Baramulla.
Shops and business establishments in curfew-free areas of Srinagar and other parts of Kashmir remained closed and traffic was off the roads. Work in government and semi-government offices and banks remained affected due to the strike. Educational institutions were also closed while Kashmir University postponed all examinations scheduled for Thursday.
In Srinagar, the forces closed all the exit and entrance points to old Srinagar with barbed wire and blocked road junctions with armored vehicles.
Residents of Old City said the forces arrived in their localities in the wee hours today. However, at around 7 am, police vehicles fitted with loudspeakers announced curfew in the area.
Civil Lines areas of the city also witnessed complete shutdown with heavy deployment of forces on roads.
Reports of complete shutdown were also received from Ganderbal district of central Kashmir. The traffic was mostly off the roads. However, Sonamarg-bound tourist vehicles plied normally.
Reports said the markets in Kangan and Ganderbal town remained closed. Most of the government and private offices and educational intuitions were shut in the district.
At Ompora in district Budgam police fired tear-smoke shells to disperse the protestors. Reports said youth disrupted traffic on Srinagar-Budgam road and pelted stones on private vehicles. A police official said that barring this minor incident situation remained peaceful in the area.
Other areas of district including Chrar-e-Sharief, Chadoora and Beerwah also observed strike .
In Bandipora district of north Kashmir, around nine people including five cops were injured in daylong clashes. Clashes erupted in Gulshan Chowk of Bandipora town after people staged protests in response to the strike call of pro-freedom leaders.
Shops, other business establishments, courts, tuition centers remained closed in support of the call. Public transport was largely off the roads. However, private vehicles were seen plying on many outer roads of the district.
Attendance in government offices was also thin as employees could not reach their destinations because of non-availability of public transport.
People especially youths on Thursday morning took to streets in main Bandipora market, Kharpora, Papchan, Nowpora and adjoining wards and staged demos against the killing of Nawakadal youth. As the youth tried to attack a CRPF camp, police and CRPF personnel chased the angry youth triggering clashes.
The forces burst tear smoke shells and fired pellets to disperse the protestors. Nine persons including five cops were injured in the clashes. A CRPF cop was severely injured when a group of youth beat him in Gulshan Chowk, eyewitnesses said. Four youth also sustained injuries during clashes.
The clashes turned violent when forces deployment was being lifted in the evening from various areas of town. “As the deployment was being lifted, people including women and elders took to roads and joined the protests which continued till late evening,” witnesses said.
A late evening report said that one person, identified as Reyaz Ahmed Rishi of Ward No: 6 in Bandipora town sustained critical injuries when a stone hit his head. Injured was rushed to Srinagar for treatment, reports added.
Residents of Nowpora area told Greater Kashmir that CRPF personnel beat pedestrians and damaged several houses in the area.
Two youth identified Touseef Ahmd and Zeeshan Ahmad of Bhag, Bandipora were allegedly roughed up by CRPF personnel.
Complete shutdown was also observed in Hajin, Sumbal, Naidkhi, Madvan, Ajas, Preng and Aloosa areas. However, private transport plied normally.
According to late evening reports, police in Bandipora launched massive nocturnal raids to nab the youth allegedly involved in stone-pelting.
Reports from Baramulla said four youth sustained pellet injuries during daylong clashes between protesting youths and the police.
Reports said clashes erupted during the wee hours in the town at Khanpora, Cement Bridge and Azad Gung Bridge.
Police lobbed scores of tear smoke canisters to quell the agitating youth. However, as the protesters started swelling, police fired pellets resulting in injuries to four youth, reports added.
Sopore town of Baramulla district was put under undeclared curfew on Thursday. Reports said forces sealed all the entrance and exit points and no one was allowed to move in or out of the town.
Amid complete shutdown in Kupwara, groups of youth staged strong protests against the killing of Nawakadal youth.
Reports said the protestors clashed with forces, however no one was injured. Handwara tehsil of Kupwara district also observed shutdown, reports said.
Killing of Nawakadal youth also sparked protests in different parts of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district. Reports said scores of youth took to streets in Samboora, Pampore, Prichoo, Kakapora, and Tral areas and resorted to stone-pelting.
Reports said forces used tear smoke shells to disperse the protestors.
SEPARATISTS IN CUSTODY:
Chairmen of both factions of Hurriyat Conference, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Syed Ali Shah Geelani were put under house arrest while JKLF chairman, Muhammad Yasin Malik continues to remain in police custody. He was arrested two weeks back.
Situation remained normal throughout Kashmir. However, isolated minor incidents stone pelting by were reported from Gulshan Chowk and Papchan in Bandipora, Ompora in Budgam, Pampore in Pulwama and Baramulla. However, there are no reports of any injury to anybody so far.
EVENING PROTESTS IN OLD SRINAGAR
Police burst tear smoke shells to disperse the protests that broke out in several areas of old Srinagar late Thursday evening.
Reports said that the protests erupted in Saraf Kadal, Rajouri Kadal, Gojwara, and several other localities. The youth in these areas took to streets and held strong protest demonstrations against Nawakadal killing.
Police burst tear smoke to disperse them and pitch battles were on when this report was being filed. Residents of some areas said that police lobbed peeper gas in their localities.