Day 108: Kashmir remains shut amid clampdown


Indian forces looted, abused citizens

Srinagar—Normal life continued to remain affected across Kashmir for the 108th straight day of strike called by separatist leadership with police persisting with its valley-wide crackdown against the protesters evoking widespread resentment on Monday.
Shops, business establishments and fuel stations remained shut, but opened in the evening as separatists had given a 14-hour relaxation in the shutdown from 5 pm. While there were no curbs on the movement of people, restrictions on assembly of four or more people were in place throughout the Valley with police and paramilitary CRPF men were deployed in strength.
The residents of Ganie Mohalla Barzulla accused the government forces of ransacking household valuables including electronic items like refrigerators, washing machines, television sets and computers during a raid to arrest protesting youth. Locals said around 15 boys were arrested during the raid. They also accused forces of stealing cash and jewelry during the raid. However, police issued a statement refuting the allegations of ransacking private property besides harassing the women in Barzulla loclaity. “Some wanted miscreants belong to the Barzulla area. Today morning police went in the locality to arrest them. Some of the locals created a ruckus. However some miscreants were arrested. The authorities refuted the allegation that any damage was caused to the household items etc. The harassment to women is also baseless,” reads the police statement.
Clashes erupted in a village in Anantnag district of south Kashmir on Sunday after forces foiled a proposed march.
Forces fired teargas shells after people assembled for ‘Anantnag chalo’ march in Chee village. Forces had erected barricades to prevent the march.
Clashes also broke out in Dangerpora village of Sopore town in north Kashmir after the government forces foiled a pro-freedom rally. Meanwhile, a truck was set ablaze on Srinagar-Jammu highway in Pazalpora area of Bijbehara by unidentified persons.
In Srinagar, street vendors put up stalls at the weekly flea market, also known as Sunday market, around the commercial hub of Lal Chowk in the summer capital which witnessed increased movement of private vehicles in the city, especially in the civil lines areas and the outskirts of the city. Many hand cart vendors were also selling goods like fruits, vegetables, fresh juice, tea and snacks at many places along the TRC Chowk-Batamaloo axis in the city.
The separatists, who are spearheading the ongoing agitation in support of their demand for right to self determination, have been issuing weekly protest calendars since the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani in an encounter on July 8.
Over 85 people, including two cops, have been killed and several thousand others injured in the ongoing unrest in the Valley. Thousands of youth, including some top separatist leaders, have been arrested by police over the past three months in an attempt to break the impasse. Over 300 persons have been booked under Public Safety Act (PSA).— RK

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