Handwara Killings: Kashmir shuts for 5th day
Srinagar—Complete shutdown was observed across Kashmir for the fifth consecutive day on Sunday against the killing of five civilians including a woman in army firing in north Kashmir’s Handwara area.
Shops and other commercial establishments remained closed while very thin traffic plied on roads. Commercial hub Lal Chowk here wore a deserted look and business activities came to a standstill elsewhere in Kashmir while there was very thin attendance reported in government offices and private institutions. Educational institutions also remained closed. The strike was called by Hurriyat (G), Hurriyat (M), JKLF and supported by various other separatist groups.
Clashes in city: Authorities imposed strict restrictions in the areas falling under seven police stations in Srinagar that include Maharaj Gunj, Nowhatta, Khanyar, Rainawari, Safa Kadal, Kralkhud and Maisuma. Rolls of concertina wires were placed across roads to ensure no protests take place.
Reports said that situation worsened at Habba Kadal when CRPF men allegedly pushed three youth into river Jehlum at Shalyar and threw stones at them, triggering protests. Residents said the youth were playing carom on the banks of river Jehlum and there were no protests going on in the area when CRPF threw stones at them and pushed them into the river. The incident triggered massive protests in the area with youth resorting to massive stone pelting at the CRPF bunker situated at Main Chowk.
Reports of clashes poured in from various areas in the city outskirts that include 90-feet Soura, Brein, Nishat and Nowgam. Police sources said clashes also took place at Narbal on Srinagar-Baramulla highway and also at Gojwara in old Srinagar. At least five youth got injured in the day-long clashes besides nearly a dozen cops also sustained injuries.
According to witnesses, at least three civilians were injured when youth appeared from a narrow lane at Mominabad and threw stones at a bus which was proceeding towards by-pass from Batamaloo.
Central Kashmir: Strict restrictions were also imposed in Kangan town with police sealing all entry points amid heavy deployment of forces. Reports said only Sonamarg-bound tourist vehicles were allowed to move ahead. Youth had erected barricades at Wussan on Srinagar-Leh highway that were later removed by police who detained some youth and registered a case under FIR No. 30/2016 under sections 147, 148, 149, 323, 307 RPC.
Reports of clashes between forces and youth were reported from Barsu Ganderbal besides Beerwah Budgam. Forces resorted to aerial firing to disperse the protestors and the situation was later brought under control, police said.
South Kashmir: Complete shutdown was observed in South Kashmir’s Anantnag, Kulgam, Shopian and Pulwama districts. Reports said clashes broke out at Bijbehara, old town Anantnag and Khanabal where youth fought pitched battles with the police and paramilitary forces throughout the day. There were, however, no reports of injury to anybody. Police sources said a few youth have been detained in the area for charges of stone pelting.—GK