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Undeclared curfew, general strike across the Khasmir Valley

by : Amin Masoodi
Tuesday October 28, 2008 - 10:49

45 injured in police firing on protestors

Mirwaiz, Mian Qayoom placed under house arrest

Source : "The Kasmir Times"

SRINAGAR, Oct 27:

Undeclared curfew and general strike threw normal life completely out of gear across the Kashmir Valley today.

At least 45 persons were injured, when police lobbed tear smoke shells, fired rubber bullets and resorted to heavy cane-charge to disperse the protestors at Nawa Kadal, Safa Kadal, and Kak Sarai here and Baramulla, Sopore and Anantnag towns.

The call for the general strike was given by Kashmir Coordination Committee (KCC) and supported by a number of political and militant groups, which had asked the people to observe the day as "black day" in connection with 61st anniversary of landing of Indian troops in Kashmir.

Going by the past experience, the strike call was to evoke a total response from the people, but authorities imposed undeclared curfew here and in other major towns of Valley to prevent the people from taking to streets and holding protest demonstrations.

KCC had also asked the people to form human chains in their respective areas against the presence of security forces in Kashmir. The lawyers were to form such a chain from the lower court complex to the High Court building in which Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was also to lead the human chain protest.

Reports said that after the protest demonstrations, CRPF cops went berserk and smashed window panes of many houses in Kak Sarai and beat people irrespective of age.

Police arrested three youth from Kak Sarai, four from Anantnag and two from Baramulla.

Defying curfew restrictions, youth held protest demonstrations and clashed with security forces in old town Baramulla.

Curfew was officially imposed in the town yesterday. The demonstrators fought pitched battles with CRPF and police in Khanpora and old-town for hours. They were protesting against the killing of a youth in police firing and demanded release of persons arrested for leading protest demonstrations.

At least 20 persons were injured, when police lobbed tear smoke shells and resorted to cane-charge to disperse them. Reports said that after a lull in protests, CRPF cops barged into the houses at Bangla Bagh Baramulla and beat people at random. They smashed window panes of houses of Ghulam Qadir Dhobi, Mohammad Azam Dhobi, Manzoor Ahmad Ganie, Mohammad Sayeed Bhat, Abdul Rashid Sheikh and Ghulam Mohi-u-din Ganie.

Locals alleged that CRPF cops threw down the washing machine from the house of Manzoor Ahmad and fired numerous tear smoke shells in the streets even after the protests had ended.

Following the arrest of 15-year-old Aijaz Ahmad Najar by CRPF, hundreds of protestors re-grouped again and made hostage the cops in Bangla Bagh Middle school for about 40 minutes. Later cops fired in air and managed to whisk away the boy.

Authorities did not give relaxation in curfew in old town Baramulla, after killing of youth in police firing. Irfan Amin was killed in police firing during protest demonstrations yesterday.

Hundreds of youth held protest demonstrations in Safa Kadal, Nawa Kadal and Kak Sarai areas of Srinagar city.

They burnt tyres on roads, clashed with security forces for hours. The angry protestors were chanting pro-freedom and anti-India slogans. Few were injured, when police lobbed smoke shells and resorted to lathi-charge to disperse them.

Imposition of an undeclared curfew in city caused immense problems to attendants and patients in hospitals. CRPF and police cops were asking for curfew passes and the attendants were not allowed to visit hospitals.

 "A police cop slapped me, when I insisted that I had to take some food and blanket for a patient at SKIMS hospital. I did not know about imposition of curfew," said an attendant.

KCC had called for ’Kashmir bandh’ today to protest the presence of Indian security forces in Kashmir. About 61 years before, Indian troops had landed on Kashmir soil today on October 27, 1947.

Shops and other business establishments here and other major towns in the valley remained closed and traffic was completely off the roads.

Educational institutions, government and private offices including banks also remained closed. Huge contingents of CRPF and police cops carrying lathis and shields in addition to automatic weapons were seen guarding the deserted city roads.

Contingents of police and CRPF guarded the vital places including Ghanta Ghar, Jehangir Chowk, Maisuma, Dalgate and heart of city Lal chowk.

Security forces vehicles fitted with tear smoke shells were also seen parked at sensitive spots including Maisuma, Dalgate, Jehangir Chowk, Fly Over, Natipora and Sonwar.

Three lawyers were arrested by police, when a group of lawyers tried to take out a protest demonstration from High Court. They were intending to march to the lower court complex by forming a human chain. Zamrooda Habib of Muslim Khawateen Markaz also led a protest by women.

According to the programme devised by KCC, Chairman Hurriyat Conference (M), Mirwaiz Umar Farooq had to lead a human chain of Kashmir Bar Association from high court to lower court. KCC had asked people to hold protest demonstrations by forming human chains in their respective townships.

Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was put under house arrest this morning. Reports said that a huge contingent of police and CRPF cops was deployed outside Mirwaiz’s residence this morning and Mirwaiz Umar informed that he cannot move out.

Amid undeclared curfew hundreds of youth took to streets and held pro-freedom protest demonstrations at Anantnag and Sopore. They clashed with police for hours. Security forces fired rubber bullets, lobbed tear smoke shells and cane charged protestors to disperse them. At least 25 persons were injured in police action at these places.

Reports said that following the arrest of four persons including two students, Aabid Ahmad and Qazi Roomi, large number of people converged at Cheeni Chowk, Anantnag and held strong pro-freedom protest demonstration.

They were demanding immediate release of arrested persons. Security forces used force to disperse them but they clashed with security forces and at least 10 persons were injured.

After the protest demonstrations, CRPF cops entered and damaged the window panes of houses of many houses including Bashir Ahmad Shah, Mohammad Yousuf Masgar and Mohammad Yousuf Tarray.

The family inmates alleged that infuriated cops also beat them.

Locals alleged that the cops abused women and beat whoever was found around.

Amid an undeclared curfew, hundreds of youth took to streets and held protests at Iqbal market, Khuhshal Matoo and Main Bazar in Sopore. They engaged security forces in stone pelting for hours. At least eight youth were injured when security forces lobbed tear smoke shells, fierd rubber bullets and resorted to lathi-charge to disperse them.

Reports said that Hurriyat (M) leader, Nayeem Ahmad Khan was arrested today when he was on his way to Nishat. He was taken to some unknown destination.

Reports said that life was crippled due to a complete strike in Kupwara, Handwara, Kulgam, Shopian, Pulwama, Bandipora, Ganderbal and other major townships. People were confined in doors due to a heavy presence of security forces in the se townships and an undeclared curfew imposed by authorities.

KHASMIR AZAD ZINDABAD !



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