Srinagar, Nov 02:At least 40 civilians sustained injuries in security forces action after a police raid in Anchaar area of Soura in Srinagar today. An elderly man who sustained tear gas shell injury is battling for life at SKIMS while four youth received serous pellet injuries in their eyes and are being treated at SMHS Hospital Srinagar. Police said its 35 men were also injured in the incident.
As the news of injuries at Soura spread, massive clashes erupted in various parts of Kashmir including South Kashmir’s Pulwama and Pampore areas. Old Srinagar areas witnessed clashes against the forces action at Anchaar. As per reports at least 70 people sustained injuries in the day-long clashes with the forces across Kashmir.
Eyewitness account: “As the clock ticked 10 in the morning, two police vehicles stopped at the famous shrine of JenabSahab (RA) at Soura,” residents said. “And within no time, a heavy contingent of CRPF personnel arrived at the spot in their vehicles along with the police men from various police stations that include Zadibal and Zakura.” Showkat Ahmed, a resident of Anchaar said the forces cordoned two localities, TaplooMohalla and ShalbafMohalla, and asked the youth to board the “police vehicles without creating any fuss.” “The forces diktat triggered anger among the residents; with youth, children and women hitting streets amid pro-freedom slogans. The policemen fired dozens of tear gas shells and pellets on protestors, triggering massive clashes,” Ahmed said.
He said that the protestors resisted the police drive to launch door to door searches to arrest youth. “Massive clashes started at noon and
remained on till 4 p.m. We didn’t allow the forces personnel to enter our homes,” a group of residents said. They said that youth from various adjoining areas came in support of the residents of Anchaar and Soura. “We heard people especially youth coming in our support from Nowhatta, 90-feet road, Nowshehra and other areas forcing the police and CRPF men to call off the operation.”
Residents accused forces of lobbing tear gas shells at the Auqaf office of JenabSahab (RA) shrine. Earlier, scores of women and youth had taken shelter inside the shrine to save themselves from the forces wrath. Elderly residents condemned the forces action and termed it unprovoked. Eye-witnesses said over 40 protestors were injured in the forces action while four youth sustained grave pellet injuries who were identified as MehrajudinKoundoo, Hilal Ahmed Taploo, Abdul Majeed War and Ishfaq Ahmed. Mehraj was hit by pellets in his eyes, eye-witnesses said.
Residents of Soura said that 70-year-old Ghulam Ahmed was hit by a tear gas shell in his head and was admitted at the nearby SKIMS. Doctors said the elderly man has grave head injury and is being treated in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the hospital. The residents also accused the police and CRPF men of resorting to vandalism. “The forces personnel broke the window panes of houses situated on the main road and also damaged private vehicles parked in lanes and by-lanes,” the residents alleged.
Police, however, said that “miscreants” in large numbers pelted stones on the deployments at Anchaar, Soura in Srinagar resulting in the grievous injuries to SP Hazratbal (PeerzadaNaveed) and 35 other police and security forces personnel. “While dealing with the law and order in the area, three civilians who were part of the mob also sustained injuries. They were shifted to SKIMS for treatment. The condition of all of them is stated to be stable,” a police statement read. Meanwhile, as soon as the reports of injuries to 40 people and an elderly man spread in Srinagar, clashes broke out in Batamaloo in uptown Srinagar and also in various old city areas that include Nowhatta, Gojwara, SarafKadal, 90-feet, Khanyar, SafaKadal and other areas. Late evening reports said that patients at the SKIMS Soura complained of irritation in chest due to intense use of pepper gas by the forces while dealing with the protestors.
South Kashmir: Protests erupted in Anantnag town against the alleged highhandedness of forces in Soura area of Srinagar, reports said. Forces launched a crackdown in housing colony and Baba MohallaBijbehara town and conducted door to door searches. Reports said that five people were arrested in Bugam village in Kulgam district during night raids. Reports said that four youth were arrested during a raid at Batengoo village of Anantnag. Similar raids were reported from various villages that include Lalal, Ganoor, Chicharpora, Chidhama and Kamad.
Reports from Shopian district said that a 19-year-old girl identified as Urfi Rashid daughter of Abdur Rashid Ganai of Chitragam sustained pellet injury in her eyes during clashes in which at least 15 others suffered mild injuries when forces foiled Chitragamchalo march. Reports said that forces cordoned the village but people from adjoining villages tried to march towards the venue, but were prevented by the forces triggering clashes.
Reports said that clashes erupted in Pulwama town soon after forces were withdrawn after 5 p.m. Clashes were reported from Pampore area of Pulwama as well.
North Kashmir: Several youth were injured during clashes that erupted following a raid conducted by police in Hygam area of Sangrama in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district. The residents alleged that police ransacked scores of residential houses and thrashed local residents without any provocation. According to locals, at around 2.45 p.m, several vehicles belonging to police appeared suddenly in ParrayMohalla of Hygam. The sudden police appearance in the area gave rise to the speculation that police were to arrest local youth. The police presence led to severe clashes between youths and the police. Police lobbed scores of teargas shells to quell the protesting youths. The clashes continued for several hours. Scores of youths are reported to have suffered injuries in the clashes. Meanwhile, the locals said that several residential houses were ransacked by police and window panes of more than 20 houses were damaged by police. Massive clashes were reported from Tarzoo area of Sopore in Baramulla district where a police officer sustained injuries, reports said.
Central Kashmir: Authorities in central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district foiled “SherpathriChalo” program called by joint resistance camp. Locals in Sherpathri area of tehsil Ganderbal said that forces were patrolling on the roads in the area throughout the day to thwart any protest. Three youth were detained after a mild stone pelting incident near Hakim-Gund in the area, reports said. Meanwhile, youth erected barricades at Pandach on Ganderbal-Bauchpira old road. Groups of youth resorted to stone pelting at Ahmadnagar and Takiya on Ganderbal-Soura 90 ft road, reports said.
Police Version: Situation across Kashmir remained under control barring six incidents of law and order problem which took place during the day. “In district Shopian, miscreants pelted stones upon police and security forces deployments at Dachoo, Rabben, Nagbal and Sugan. Police chased them away by using mild force,” the statement said. “In Tarzoo, Sopore, miscreants in order to disrupt the normal life, pelted stones upon police and security forces deployment but were chased away. While dealing with the law and order situation, DySP PC Sopore got injured and was shifted to Sub District Hospital Sopore for treatment.”
BOSE OFFICE SET ABLAZE
Miscreants set ablaze office of JK BOSE at Bindoo in Kokernag on Wednesday evening, officials said.