Violent clashes and protests in South Kashmir
Anantnag, Oct 20,: Amid spontaneous shutdown against the murder of Kashmiri trucker Zahid Rasool Bhat, South Kashmir’s Islamabad district Tuesday witnessed violent clashes and protests after some men from Paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force roughed up an auto-driver and few other pedestrians near Lal Chowk area.
Eyewitnesses told CNS that everything was normal in the town. Authorities had created barricades near Lal Chowk to restrict the movement of the people. Situation turned ugly when some CRPF personnel from 19 Battalion intercepted a load-carrier (JK01P-1863) near Lal Chowk and roughed him up without any provocation. “I was coming from Vailo hamlet. I fail to understand why these unbridled CRPF personnel beat me up. I obeyed their orders and stopped without uttering a word they started thrashing me. When some pedestrians tried to intervene, the CRPF men roughed them up too,” Gulzar Ahmed, the load carrier driver told CNS.
Soon after the incident of thrashing, people mostly youth took to streets in large numbers and clashed with government forces. The clashes spread to other parts including Lasbal, Gulshanabad, Dangarpora, Kadipora, Reshibazar and Mattan Chowk. Protesters amid pro-freedom and anti-India slogans burnt down the tyres on the roads near Lasbal while thousands of protesters take out a march from Malapora area. According to eyewitnesses as the march reached near Wanpou area, the government forces fried tear-smoke shells and pepper gas canisters to disperse the protesters. Eyewitnesses said that some bullets were too fired in air to scare the protesters. The infuriated protesters hurled rocks on the police and CRPF personnel and attacked armoured vehicles with sticks and stones.
Violent clashes were also reported from Dangarpora and Mattan Chowk of the district. One civilian was seriously wounded during the clashes near Khanabal and was shifted to Srinagar for advanced treatment. Eyewitnesses said that Government Forces also resorted to tear-gas shelling in Bijbehara, Janglat Mandi and Lasbal to disperse the protesters.
Meanwhile, all the shops, educational institutions and business establishments remained shut for the second consecutive day in the district to mourn the death of 16 years old Kashmiri trucker Zahid Rasool Bhat. Reports said that public as well as private transport remained off the roads while heavy deployment of troopers and police personnel were seen on roads to restore normalcy in the town. A police official said that barring few incidents of stone-pelting at some places, the situation remained peaceful in the town. (CNS)
CRPF thrashes Malik and others
Incident sparks clashes in Maisuma
Anantnag, Oct 20, CNS: Separatist leaders including Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front Chairman Muhammad Yasin Malik were injured after they were allegedly thrashed by Para-military Central Reserve Police Force in South Kahsmir’s Islamabad district on Tuesday.
Eyewitnesses told CNS that Muhammad Yasin Malik along other separatist leaders including Javid Ahmed Mir, Shabir Ahmed Dar and Muhammad Ahsan Untoo arrived at Batingo Islamabad to express their sympathies with the bereaved family of Zahid Rasool Bhat who died in Safdarjang hospital in New Delhi after sustaining injuries at Shivnagar Udhampur when goons attacked their truck with petrol bomb.
Witnesses added that after visiting the bereaved family, Malik and others visited the graveyard and offered ‘Fatheh Khawani’ in favour of the deceased youth. Shortly after addressing a large gathering, Malik led a procession towards Lal Chowk. Senior separatist leader Javid Ahmed Mir told CNS that Malik was mulling to stage a sit-in at Lal Chowk but as the procession reached near highway, CRPF personnel according to Mir went on rampage and indiscriminately fired tear-smoke shells on protesters. “There was chaos everywhere. During the melee, few unbridled CRPF troopers attacked us with lathi’s and gun butts. We tried to stop them but they continuously assaulted us. Malik suffered fracture in his neck while Shabir Dar received injury in his nose,” Mir said.
Untoo who was part of the procession alleged that after the attack, the CRPF personnel snatched Laptop from his possession and smashed it with lathi’s. “We were ruthlessly beaten up. Many protesters received wounds in CRPF action,” he said. Eyewitnesses added that it were few policemen that saved Malik and others from the wrath of CRPF personnel. “The separatist leaders were detained shortly after the incident and were taken to Police Station Saddar,” witnesses added.
Meanwhile the incident sparked spontaneous protest and clashes in Maisuma Srinagar where protesters took to street and resorted to stone-pelting. The government forces burst tear-smoke shells to disperse the agitated youth. Locals and commuters alleged that CRPF personnel smashed windshields of many private vehicles. The clashes between police and youth disrupted normal life as all the shops and business establishments got shut and transport disappeared from the roads. (CNS)