- Clashes continue amid complete shutdown
- Two private cars torched in Hyderpora
- 40 more arrested in relentless police crackdown
- Forces continue to damage transformers, ransack houses
Police on Monday imposed strict curfew in scores of areas in Srinagar, even as protests and clashes continued in several Kashmir areas for the 94th straight day. In clashes in some areas, at least a dozen people sustained injuries in forces’ action.
The curfew was imposed in jurisdictions of Police Stations including Nowhatta, Khanyar, Rainawari, Safakadal, Maharaj Gunj, Maisuma, Ram Munshi Bagh, Kralkhud, Shaheed Gunj, Karan Nagar and Batamaloo. Police said the curfew, which was imposed in view of Muharram processions, may continue on Tuesday and Wednesday too.
In curfew-bound areas, police and paramilitary forces laid barbed wire and erected barricades to stop movement of people and private vehicles. Even doctors were not allowed to go to hospitals, witnesses said.
In Batamaloo area of Srinagar, groups of youth tried to take out protest rallies, but police prevented them. The commercial hub of Lal Chowk was also sealed to prevent Shite mourners from taking out a Muharram procession. All the exit and entry points to the area were barricaded to prevent vehicular movement.
On roads leading to SMHS hospital and SKIMS, patients and ambulance drivers were seen pleading before forces to let them cross the barricades. In Dalgate area, no pedestrian or vehicular movement was allowed.
In Batmaloo, Shite mourners tried to take out a procession, but police swung into action and detained them.
Meanwhile, Kashmir observed a complete shutdown and protests and clashes were reported from some places.
In Sopore area of Karlteng, forces caused massive damage to property and residential houses during a stone-pelting incident, reports said. About half a dozen people were injured. Clashes broke out this afternoon in Old Town Baramulla after police raided its several areas. The locals accused the police of damaging windowpanes of residential houses during the raid.
According to locals, Baramulla police entered several mohallas (localities) which include Jalal Sahib, Kakarhamam and Jammia and started yelling and shouting at youths. The police action triggered clashes which continued till evening. Police lobbed scores of teargas shells during the clashes. Locals said police is raiding the area and damaging windows and doors of houses “without any provocation.”
“So far, scores of transformers and residential houses were damaged by the cops. The police action is completely unwarranted and is aimed to harass the residents of Old Town,” said a group of local residents.
At least three people sustained injuries in Livar village of Pahalgam after forces used force to foil a pro-freedom rally there.
Witnesses said police, paramilitary forces and army soldiers were deployed in large numbers and barricades were erected at various places to prevent people from assembling.
“In the afternoon, people in the village, raising pro-freedom slogans, took out a procession. Forces, however, lobbed shells to quell it,” they said, adding: “Three people sustained injuries in the forces’ action.”
The forces later went on rampage and damaged five electric transformers by firing bullets at them. “The entire area has been plunged into darkness,” locals said.
They said the forces also smashed windowpanes of houses.
Reports of mild stone-pelting came in from Nagbal-Hazratbal road and Ganderbal-Soura 90 ft area. Youth erected barricades on Pandach-Buchpora old road at Pandach, Omarhare, Ahmadnagar and Buchpora and restricted movement of private vehicles. Shops, schools and other business establishments remained closed in the entire district and public transport was off the roads.
J&K Police on late Monday night said that two private vehicles were set ablaze in Hyderpora area in the outskirts of Srinagar. The cars bore registration number as JK01N-6690 (Estello) and JK02AB-103 (Swift-VDI).
The police said that the cars were set ablaze by “miscreants” at Goripora Crossing near Snooker Hall in Hyderpora. Police have taken cognizance and started investigation.
“In view of sensitivity of some areas and as a precautionary measure curfew was imposed in some areas of Srinagar city today. There was no curfew elsewhere in the valley. The situation across Kashmir remained by and large peaceful,” a police spokesman said in a statement.
“During the day, vendors were seen doing their usual business in the markets as well as lanes of the towns across valley. Vehicles were seen plying normally on roads in the curfew-free areas of Srinagar city as well as other towns. In the meantime, continuing with its drive against the miscreants across the Kashmir Valley, 40 persons who were found involved in different offences of creating public disorder and disruption of normal activities have been arrested by police during past 24 hours.”