Sunday, August 7, 2016

Multiple funerals for three Kashmir men; protests spread, several hurt in clashes

Thousands of mourners on Saturday attended the last rites of two youths killed by government forces in Budgam and Varmul district amid protests even as curfew and shutdown continued on 29th day across the disputed Kashmir region. Reports informed that thousands turned up at Khansahab in Budgam to attend the last rites of Sameer Ahmad who was killed by forces on Friday. Amid pro-Islam, pro-freedom and anti-India sloganeering, the youth was laid to rest in presence of thousands. Soon after the burial, violent protests raged in the area and adjoining localities. In Wogur of Varmul district, thousands of people turned up to attend the last rites of another youth, Danish Rasool, who was also killed by forces after Friday prayers during protests. Witnesses said that the youth was laid to rest after thousands offered his multiple funerals amid anti-India protests. The funeral was followed by violent protests during which protesters set ablaze an abandoned police post at Wogur. Authorities imposed curfew in Pattan area of the Varmul district after clashes erupted between protesters and forces that left four injured. Reports said that four persons sustained pellet injuries during clashes and they were subsequently hospitalized. The protests also erupted at Sheeri area of the northern district after forces, including paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force and anti-insurgency Special Operation Group of the police, allegedly thrashed locals and ransacked houses in Shalteng Sheeri and Zoogyar Sheeri localities. The protesters demanded an end to what they called ‘continuous atrocities’ The curfew and shutdown across Kashmir for the 29th day during which protests and rallies were staged at several areas while forces action left nearly 50 persons injured. Mourners participate in the funeral of a youth killed on Friday in Kashmir’s Sopore. A strict curfew was imposed in Old City, Maisum and Batmaluen areas of city to thwart possible protests while rest of the city observed a complete shutdown. Reports said that though the situation remained peaceful across the Srinagar but clashes erupted between youths and retreating government forces men in the evening. Nearly 42 persons were injured when forces used teargas and pellets at Chee village of Anantnag district of south Kashmir to foil a scheduled pro-freedom rally this morning. Reports said that police and army barged in the village at 7 AM and disrupted the arrangements being made for the rally-cum-conference. Some of the injured were rushed to Anantnag district hospital while rest were treated at Mattan Hospital. In a similar action, a large tent installed in Chandgam village of Pulwom district was destroyed by government forces to foil a ‘Jalsa’ this morning. Locals said that the forces arrived in the morning hours and started ransacking the tent and other minor tents to foil the rally. “Thousands of people were scheduled to attend the rally,” said the locals, adding: “but the forces came and started ransacking”. Old Srinagar city continued to reel under curfew where it remained in force in the areas falling under the jurisdiction of police stations Nawuet, Khanyar, Raenwor, Safakadal, Maharajgunj and Batemaluen. Officials said that curfew was also in force in four towns of Budgam district -Chodur, Khansahib, Magam and Budgam, Anantnag town and Khanpur area of Varmul district. A procession was taken out in Chattabal area of Srinagar city where a large number of people had assembled to observe the Fath-e-Khawani of Reyaz Ahmed Shah– the ATM vestibule guard who was killed by paramilitary a few days back. Amid pro-freedom slogans the youth hit to roads and waved green flags. The protest culminated peacefully. Stone-pelting incidents were reported from Chanpur area of city. Panic gripped in South Kashmir’s Anantnag district when government forces showered pellets on the peaceful protesters in Chee. Reports said that more than 40 people including women suffered pellet injuries who were immediately shifted to the main hospital in the district. A local resident of Anchidur Umar Khurshid Ganaie was shifted to Srinagar for advanced treatment. Locals alleged that government forces targeted a peaceful rally at Chee. The locals alleged that police even put the tent on fire that had been erected for the comfort of the people, however police denied the charges. The police action sparked violent protest in the area while forces used tear-smoke shells to disperse them. During the clashes an Special Police Officer Firdous Ahmed was wounded and referred to Srinagar hospital. “Some of the autos were also damaged,” the reports added. Despite police action, the rally was held at Chee by locals and was attended by large number of people. Clashes also broke out in Herpora in Shupian of South Kashmir where people pelted stones on the police. Reports said that forces personnel retaliated with tear-smoke shells. The clashes left at least 10 persons wounded. Reports from South Kashmir’s Pulwom district said that a huge pro-freedom rally was organized in which thousands of people participated. The pro-freedom march started from Karimabad area and headed towards Ratnipur village of the district. People participated in the rally on bikes, trucks and light motor vehicles waving green flags and chanting pro-freedom and anti-India slogans. Reports from Chandagam-Tahab in the southern district said that after stone-pelting incidents government forces damaged bikes and deflated the tyres of tractors ferrying people for attending a pro-freedom rally. A pro-freedom rally was organized in Wounpur in Kulgam that was attended by large number of people. Locals at Safapur-Manasbal area of Central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district staged massive protest against the arrest of two brothers during nocturnal raid. The locals from Rangarmohalla, Batapur, Chewa, Waripur, Asham and Pehlipur hit to roads and demanded immediate release of the duo.

From KashmirDispatch:



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