Sonamarg, July 5: Massive protests broke out on Baltal yatra route in central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district on Thursday evening after paramilitary CRPF men beat a sumo driver in the area. The cops fired in air and resorted to baton charge to disperse the protestors.
Sources said CRPF men of 115 bn deployed at yatra base camp at Baltal had an altercation with driver of sumo bearing registration no JK01G 6858. “The CRPF men beat the driver identified as Ghulam Nabi Lone of Khanan, Kangan to pulp. He sustained multiple injuries and was referred to SKIMS, Soura for treatment”.
As the news about the incident spread, shopkeepers, traders, ponywallas in Baltal held a massive protest demonstration against CRPF. Chanting anti-government and anti-CRPF slogans, the protesters tried to march towards the main area of the base camp housing top officials.
Sources said angry protesters set ablaze some make shift tents of the CRPF men and a bunker. “The CRPF and police men resorted to baton charge and fired in air to disperse the protestors, who retaliated by hurling bricks and stones towards them”.
They said the protests were going on.
Reports of protests were also received from Sonamarg, where shopkeepers closed their shops to protest against beating of driver by CRPF men.
Sources said additional police and CRPF men have been deployed in yatra base camp Baltal after the protests.
They said tension continues to prevail in the entire areas. “Top police and civil officials have rushed to the spot to assess the situation. All the yatris are safe,” they said.
When contacted, DIG Central Kashmir Syed Afhad-ul-Mujtaba said a sumo driver was injured after he had some altercation with CRPF men at the base camp.
“After the incident, some sumo drivers and shopkeepers protested and pelted stones. However, the situation is under control,” he said.