Kashmiris hit streets against Gaza bloodbath
Youth critical as forces open fire on protesters at Qaimoh; Clashes in Bandipora, Sopore, Srinagar, Baramulla
A youth was critically injured in Qaimoh area of Kulgam district in South Kashmir during clashes Friday as Kashmir once again registered its anger against the Israeli aggression in Gaza that left over 250 people dead and 1700, including women and children, injured. Nearly a dozen youth and a few cops were injured in the clashes across Kashmir.
Pertinently, Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani had urged people to stage peaceful demonstrations against Israeli aggression in Gaza post-Friday congregational prayers.
Reports said soon after the Friday prayers people in Qaimoh and adjoining areas of Khudwani and Redwani staged massive anti-Israel demonstrations. The protesters carrying placards were shouting anti-Israel, anti-US and anti-India slogans. The protesters marched towards Srinagar-Jammu highway and resorted to stone-pelting on the forces, resulting in clashes. “The paramilitary forces fired at the protesters resulting in bullet injury to one youth,” eyewitnesses said. The youth was identified as Amir Ahmad Parray S/O Abdul Majid Parray, age 19 years, a resident of Gufbal village of Qaimoh. He was shifted to district hospital Anantnag for treatment where from he was rushed to SKIMS, Soura (Srinagar) in a critical condition. “Amir has received bullet injury on right side of his chest,” said a doctor at the district hospital Anantnag. Several other people also sustained injuries.
“One Sajad Ahmad Wani S/O Abdul RehmanWani of Qaimoh received tear smoke canister injury and was also being treated at the district hospital,” reports said.
One of the pedestrians, identified as Sameer Ahmad S/O Muhammad YousufShalla of Uran Hall village of Anantnag district, suffered serious injuries after paramilitary forces allegedly beat him to pulp. “I was not part of the protest but the CRPF personnel mercilessly thrashed me with gun butts and bamboo sticks,” said Sameer, who suffered severe eye injury and was also being treated at the district hospital.
Several cops and paramilitary forces personnel were reportedly injured in the clashes and many vehicles damaged by the protesters. Clashes were on in Qaimoh and adjoining areas when reports last came in.
Superintendent of Police (SP) KulgamMumtaz Ahmad said police is trying to ascertain the details.
Massive anti–Israel protests also rocked South Kashmir districts of Islamabad, Kulgam, Pulwama and Shopian.
Reports said in Islamabad town, as Friday prayers concluded, people assembled in large numbers outside Jamia Masjid Ahli-Hadith, Bait-ul-Muqaram, RehatDed Masjid, Jamia Masjid Hanfia and several other Masjids and marched towards LalChowk. “The protesters were carrying placards and banners reading Save Palestine and Down with Israel,” eyewitnesses said.
Reports said local Tehreek-e-Hurriyat leaders led the protest demonstration even as police detained district president Hurriyat (G) to prevent him from leading the procession. “Police and CRPF men who were deployed in strength to thwart the protests used force to disperse the protesters triggering clashes,” reports said.
Locals said that youth pelted stones on the forces who retaliated by baton charge and tear gas shelling. “Clashes soon spread to other old town areas including Reeshi Bazar, Malakhnag, CheeniChowk, Sheerpora, JanglatMandi, Kadipora and Sarnal,” reports said. Youth fought pitched battles with forces, and clashes were on till reports last came in and spread to even areas of Khannabal-Pahalgam (KP) road.
Earlier Thursday night protests rocked Sarnal area after the paramilitary forces allegedly thrashed locals who were going for night (Isha) prayers. Locals alleged that the forces personnel also smashed the windowpanes of the houses.
Massive protests were also staged in Pulwama town. “People marched towards the streets of town amid anti-Israel, anti-US and anti-India slogans,” eyewitnesses said. They said the protesters were wearing black arm bands and carrying placards. Police resorted to tear gas shelling to disperse protesters near Main ChowkPulwama. Sporadic incidents of stone pelting were also reported from the town.
Reports of protests were also received from Tral, Awantipora, Pampore and Rajpora areas of the district.
In Shopian town also, massive protest rallies were taken out from Jamia Masjid and Tak Masjid. Protest demonstrations were led by Tehreek-e-Hurriyat leader and district president, Hurriyat (G), Muhammad YousufFalahi.
Soon after the Friday prayers, Chairman Hurriyat Conference (M) Mirwaiz Umar Farooq led a protest demonstration outside historic Jamia Masjid Srinagar against Gaza carnage. Mirwaiz was wearing a black band as a mark of protest against Israel.
Mirwaiz while condemning the silence of United Nations over the innocent killings in Gaza, raised anti-UN slogans. As Mirwaiz left the spot, scores of youth assembled at Nowhatta and engaged in clashes with the forces. Police resorted to heavy tear gas shelling to quell the protesters. Heavy stone pelting and clashes were going on in Nohwatta and other areas of the old city when this report was filed.
Protest rallies were taken out from many Masjids in Srinagar against Israel’s aggression in Gaza. A protest march started from Jamia Masjid Hyderpora that culminated at GhantaGhar, LalChowk peacefully. The protesters were carrying placards displaying anti-Israel slogans. Another protest rally started from the shrine of Hazrat Sheikh Abdul QadirJeelani (RA) at Sarai Bala. Reports of protests also poured in from many other parts of Srinagar and elsewhere.
Before Friday prayers, senior Hurriyat (M) leader and JKLF (H) chairman Javaid Ahmed Mir staged a peaceful demonstration in Press Enclave here against the Israeli aggression in Gaza.
Soon after Friday prayers, hundreds of people took to the streets near Jamia Masjid Sopore to stage anti-Israel protests. The protestors also burnt Israeli flags. According to reports, the protests spread to other areas like College Road and interiors of Sopore town, triggering clashes between youth and forces. At least six people sustained minor injuries in the clashes.
In Baramulla district, IttihadulMuslimeen organized a peaceful demonstration at Hanjiwera, Pattan after Friday prayers. A large number of people from all walks of life while condemning the killing of innocent civilians, children and women by Israelis in Gaza joined the protests. Demonstrators and protesters holding placards and banners were chanting slogans like, “Down with America, Down with Israel, Save Gaza, Shia-Sunni Bhai Bhai.”
Reports of similar protests were registered from many areas of Kupwara district of north Kashmir as well.
Thousands of people gathered in the main market Kupwara after Friday prayers to protest Israeli aggression in Gaza. The main procession was taken out from MarkaziJamia Masjid that passed through different markets.
Meanwhile, a protest rally was also taken out from Jamia Masjid Kunzar and Jamai Masjid Tangmarg. Areas that include Chandilora and Duroo on the Srinagar-Gulmarg road observed a partial shutdown.
In Kupwara town, Handwara, Lalpora (Lolab) and Trehgam hundreds of people immediately after the Friday prayers took to streets against the carnage of Palestinians. Police resorted to mild tear-gas shelling to quell the angry protesters.
Violent clashes erupted in Bandipora district of north Kashmir post-Friday prayers as hundreds of people staged demos against Gaza carnage. According to reports, as the protesters reached Main Chowk, scores of youth resorted to stone pelting forcing the police and paramilitary CRPF to retaliate with tear gas shells. In the ensuing clashes, at least six persons including four youth and two cops were injured. The injured youth were identified as Fayaz Ahmed of Kaloosa, Shakir Ahmed, Waseem Hassan and Jamsheed residents of Bandipora town. People also staged protests in Main Town, Papchan, Hajin, Naidkhai, Sumbal, Arin, Watapora, Ashtangoo and Nowgam. As the clashes spread, authorities brought in more forces to quell the protests who responded with heavy tear gas shelling. Youth were fighting with police and paramilitary in ding-dong battles till this report was filed.
PROTESTS IN KU CAMPUS
Dozens of Kashmir University students despite summer break also staged protests against Israel after Friday prayers despite warnings issued by the authorities. A group of protesting students told Greater Kashmir that they registered a strong protest against the Israeli aggression in Gaza. “It is our duty as Muslims to protest against the innocent killings of people, especially children in Gaza,” they said. The varsity students also alleged that KU’s chief proctor had warned them of dire consequences in case they stage any protests in the campus. “Soon after the protest, many students were detained by the police,” a group of students said. Pertinently, the University authorities have already announced summer break from July 18 to July 31.
Police said stray incidents of stone-pelting were reported in the afternoon from Qaimoh, Wanpoh in Kulgam, NaidKhai, Sopore, Papchan, Bandipora and Nowhatta Srinagar.
“One person Amir Ahmad was injured at Wanpoh, he has been shifted to Srinagar Hospital where his condition is being reported to be stable, besides a lady Hasina was injured in Sopore and was shifted to a hospital,” a police spokesman said.