‘No Friday prayers in Shopian, other places‘
Srinagar Sep 14: Strict curfew was imposed on Friday, in about half a dozen towns of south Kashmir following death of one person on September 11 in security force firing during demonstration at Gagran, Shopian, where four youths were killed in CRPF firing on September 7. State government on Thursday ordered the shifting of the CRPF camp from Gagaran and its replacement by local armed police. According to Kashmir Monitor, a probe headed by the district magistrate of Shopian has also been ordered in both firing incidents of Sep 7 and 11.
State police has been directed by the government to submit its investigation report on the firing incidents within 24 hours, so that the government is able to decide whether a judicial probe needs to be undertaken into these incidents.
Separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani has appealed to the people to protest the Gagaran firing incidents after Friday prayers.
Authorities imposed restrictions in and around Srinagar city centre Lal Chowk, where P
ro-Azad Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chairman Muhammad Yasin Malik had announced a sit-in dharna against the Gagaran firing incidents.
Violent clashes broke out Friday in Gagran village of Shopian where CRPF men killed four civilians in the last seven days.
CRPF and J&K police personnel resorted to aerial firing and shelling against protestors who were shouting anti-India and pro-freedom slogans, reports reaching here from Shopian said.
Protestors, according to reports retaliated by the novel method of lobbing tear gas canisters back at the forces. Clashes also took place in Khudwani area of Kaimoh in Kulgam district where a youth was critically injured by a pellet grenade Thursday.
Meanwhile, authorities imposed an indefinite curfew Friday in most parts of south Kashmir to foil any attempt of protest by angry residents over the CRPF killings in Shopian.
Amid curfew and massive deployment of forces, strict restrictions were enforced in Shopian, Pulwana and Kulgam districts and authorities sealed access to central mosques in these districts, witnesses said.
In Shopian, police and paramilitary forces blocked the road leading to Jamia Masjid and no one was allowed to offer prayers there, forcing the people to offer prayers in local mosques.
“Heavy contingent of forces deployed in the area didn’t allow people to come out of their homes for prayers,” informed a local, who lives just near the local Masjid in Shopian town.
The authorities also sealed access to main mosques in Pulwama and Kulgam, agitating people further who called it an ‘infringement into religion’.
Curfew was also extended to Anantnag on Friday which had remained largely peaceful on Thursday. Restrictions disrupted normal life as police and paramilitary forces put up barricades at all the roads to foil any attempt of protest, reports said.
However, the national highway which connect Jammu region with Kashmir valley remained open and there was no attempt to block traffic by the protestors.
Meanwhile, large-scale protests and clashes erupted following Friday prayers in many areas of capital Srinagar.
North Kashmir’s main town Bandipora was shut. Since early in the morning, youth had engaged the paramilitary forces and police in ding dong battles. The market in the area remains shut.
In Laway Pora, on the outskirts of Srinagar City, reports of protests and stone pelting also came in. The protestors raised slogans against India and in favour of freedom.
A report from Palhallan village of Pattan in north Kashmir, complete shutdown was observed on Friday.
Kurhama area of Ganderbal also held protests and pelted stones at police and paramilitary forces. Reports coming from the area say that the market around bye-pass in the area remained shut.
Protests were also held in the University of Kashmir after Friday prayers. University reverberated with anti India and Azaadi slogans. The students held protests against the killings in Shopian. The students later moved throughout the campus raising pro-freedom slogans.
Courtesy: Kashmir Monitor