Bandipora, July 27: Tension prevailed in this north Kashmir town and adjoining areas for third consecutive day on Friday as thousands of people staged protests and clashed with police and CRPF to express their resentment against the killing of a youth in Army firing. Protestors were demanding punishment to Army personnel involved in the killing.
Early in the morning, youths assembled at main market Bandipora and held protests. They pelted stones on policemen and fought pitched battles with them. However, protests turned violent after Friday prayers when hundreds of youth, raising pro-freedom and anti-government slogans, took to streets. Massive clashes erupted between police and protestors in various localities of the town including Nowpora, Ward 2, 3, 4, 5 and Papchan.
Thousands of people from various villages including Khenusa, Kanbathi, Malangam, Quil, Gurdal, Kema, Mangnipora assembled in Aloosa, the native village of deceased Hilal Ahmed, where from they marched towards Bandipora. They marched on the Sopore-Bandipora road, raising slogans. People from several other areas also joined the procession on the way and raised slogans, demanding punishment to the involved Army personnel.
“As we reached Putushay, police swung into action and lobbed teargas canisters to disperse the protesters, 13 youth sustained injuries,” locals said.
Police and CRPF also resorted to aerial firing to quell the protests.
Reports of peaceful pro-freedom demonstrations after Friday prayers were also received from Khenusa, Arin, Nadihal, Papchan and other adjoining villages.
Protests were continuing till late in the evening when this report was filed.
The protestors were demanding that the culprits be identified and brought to justice. Business establishments and shops remained closed and the traffic was off the roads. All the roads leading to Bandipora were closed by police to prevent separatist leaders from entering the town.
About 30 persons including 10 cops were injured during the day-long clashes. ETV correspondent Muhammad Sayeed Beigh received injures in his arm while performing his professional duties during the clashes between police, CRPF and protestors near Putushay. A police officer said the situation was ‘tense but under control.’
PFL appeals HR organizations
Srinagar: The Peoples’ Freedom League secretary general Muhammad Rafiq Ganai on Friday appealed to the international human rights organizations to take cognizance of the human rights violations allegedly committed by the armed forces in Kashmir and exert pressure on New Delhi to put an immediate halt to them.
Ganai was addressing a public meeting at central Jamia Masjid, Chadoora, in district Budgam.