Uneasy calm in Kashmir, amid shutdown and clashes


By  Mudasir Yaqoob | Srinagar

In the wake of a youth’s killing in Srinagar’s down town areas after Indian paramilitary forces opened fire at Zoonimar resulting in death of Altaf Ahmad, 37, a father of three daughters, authorities have imposed curfew in ten districts of  Kashmir Valley.

“Sooner after the Bemina attack on Wednesday which claimed life of 5 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) Personnel, CRPF opened unprovoked firing at Zoonimar. A bullet was inflicted in chest of Wani who was in way with his father, succumbs to injuries in way to hospital,” eye witnesses had told media persons.

All entry and exit points in sensitive areas have been seized and the movement of people was strictly restricted. Uneasy calm is prevailing in Valley and people are forced to stay inside.

Reports of protests, clashes between protestors and forces and shelling to disperse the protestors and stone throwers in Handwara were received. Protests and clashes were going on for long. Police used teargas shells to disperse protestors and stone throwers.

Protests, clashes and shelling reports were also received from Hajin, Bandipora where agitators pelted stone on Police Chowki and Army Goodwill School. Police resorted to lathi charge and used tear gas canisters to disperse the protestors.

Agitated youth at Khanpora Bridge and Cement Bridge pelted stones on forces that retailed with teargas shelling.

People in Kralkhud Handwara were observing peaceful protests at main chowk when a Police party passed from the area, locals said. Protestors pelted stones upon Police personnel resulting in clashes between them.

After chasing the agitated people, Police used shelling to disperse the protestors.

“Police and CRPF entered into residential houses and breakdown house hold articles, beat inmates and used bad language against women,” alleged locals.

Locals said that forces damaged the ariticles in residential houses of Abdul Majed Khaja, Shamsudin Khaja and others.

Minor stone pelting incidents were also witnessed in Langate. However, later on, agitated youth dispersed peacefully.

Ananhnag, Kulgam, Bijbehra, Qaimoh remained under strict curfew while Pulwama and Kakpora were put under strict restrictions restraining the movement of people.

Minor clashes between stone-pelting mobs and police were also reported from other places.

Barring these clashes, the officials told a news agency that the situation across the Valley is largely peaceful and under control. “Curfew is likely to continue on Friday,” they added.

According to an official spokesman, situation remained largely peaceful throughout the Kashmir valley, though there were isolated incidents of stone pelting at few places.

“Miscreants pelted stones at Kurhama, Badergund in Ganderbal and Safakadal in Srinagar. Police and security forces exercised maximum restraint while dealing with the law and order situations. Eight police personnel were injured during these incident0s,” he added.

Pertinently, both factions of Hurriyat conference had called  for shut down on Thursday. Coordination Committee of separatist’s MMM is issuing protest calendars since February 9 to press the government for return of mortal remains of parliament attack convict Mohammad Afzal Guru to his family.

Meanwhile, various separatist leaders and mainstream parties has condemned the killing of Wani and demanded impartial probe.

Molvi Iftikhar Hussain Ansari of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) while reacting to the killing of Saidpora youth said “an immediate investigation must be done and such killings are intolerable.”

Former Minister of State for Home and ruling National Conference’s provincial president Nasir Aslam Wani had condemned the killing of in CRPF firing at and termed it a “cold blooded murder.” (KNS)

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