Kashmir shuts to remember 1931 martyrs

Kashmir shuts to remember 1931 martyrs1Restrictions in old Srinagar * Clashes in Bandipora

Kashmir Sunday observed complete shutdown in remembrance of the martyrs of July 13, 1931, who fell to the bullets of then Dogra rulers for raising their voice against suppression and autocratic rule. The authorities also foiled the proposed rally by Hurriyat Conference (M) with restrictions in old Srinagar and placing the amalgam’s leadership, apart from other separatist leaders, under house arrest. 
Pertinently, both factions of Hurriyat Conference and Hurriyat Conference JK had called for complete strike on July 13 to mark the Martyrs Day. The strike evoked total response, with streets in Srinagar and elsewhere wearing a deserted look.

Authorities had put in place restrictions in areas falling under five police stations in old Srinagar to ensure smooth conduct of the official function at the Martyrs Graveyard at Khawaja Bazar. The areas under restrictions included Rainawari, Nowhatta, Safakadal, MaharajGunj and Khanyar. Barbed wire was put on main roads to curb the movement of people and thwart any protests. Heavy deployment of police and paramilitary forces was seen in several old Srinagar areas.
According to sources, there was massive stone-pelting in Nowhatta, Khawja Bazar and few more areas in old city since Saturday night. “At Nowhatta, at least 100 youth gathered late last evening and resorted to massive stone-pelting. In Khawaja Bazar, heavy stone-pelting started at around 11 pm on Saturday which continued 
till 12:30 am,” they said. No injuries were reported in the stone-pelting incidents.
Superintendent of Police (North City) Tahir Saleem said many old Srinagar areas witnessed overnight clashes but there was no injury. “The official function where Chief Minister paid tributes to martyrs passed off peacefully,” he said. “Elaborate security arrangements were made to ensure smooth function.” 

Violent protests erupted in North Kashmir’s Bandipora town resulting in minor injuries to three persons including a woman. Police swung into action as protestors pelted stones on police. Police could not control the situation in the first attempt as the protesters reassembled again after being dispersed, reports said. “Police later used teargas shells to disperse the protestors,” they said. 
A woman was injured after army men allegedly hit her in the head. “The woman identified as Haleema was rushed to a hospital.  She fell unconscious after soldiers of 14 Rashtriya Rifles hit her with gun butts near Ajar Bandipora,” locals said. 
They said at Green Land Colony Ajar, Army barged into the houses and beat the inmates. “They (Army men) threatened locals of dire consequences in case youth appear on streets to protest,” they said. 
Youth in Sopore town of north Kashmir assembled and chanted pro-freedom slogans. 
Meanwhile, reports of complete shutdown were received from Baramulla and Kupwara.

Normal life in Central Kashmir was affected due to the shutdown. FatehKhwani was observed in various mosques for the martyrs of 1931. Srinagar, Budgam and Ganderbal districts also observed complete shutdown. However, skeletal private transport plied in some areas. 
Reports of stone-pelting were received from BeehamaGanderbal.

Complete shutdown was observed in Pulwama, Shopian, Islamabad (Anantnag) and Kulgam districts of south Kashmir. Protests erupted in Islamabad and Shopian areas last evening with protestors chanting pro-freedom slogans. 

Commenting on the overall situation in Kashmir, Inspector General of Police, Abdul Gani Mir, said the day passed off peacefully. “There was a minor incident of stone pelting where some youth pelted stones at the Army vehicles in Bandipora town,” he said.

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