Protesters on Thursday attacked the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad bus in north Kashmir when it was on its way across the Line of Control (LoC) from Kashmir. The first day of Ramzan, holy Islamic month of fasting, however, passed off peacefully with minor protests reported.
The bus - named Carvan-e-Aman (procession of peace) and launched on April 7, 2005 to connect two Kashmirs (Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and Jammu and Kashmir) - was attacked by protesters when it reached Pattan in Baramulla district, 23 km north of Srinagar. The bus, which runs fortnightly, was not carrying many passengers when it was pelted with stones on the national highway.
"As the bus was moving with some passengers from Srinagar to Muzaffarbad, it was attacked with stones by protesters near Pattan-Palhalan. Several window panes of the bus were smashed," said a senior police officer on the condition of anonymity.
A police spokesman said police and paramilitary forces resorted to baton charging to rescue the passengers. Later, the passengers were shifted in police vehicles to safer location.
"One person from PoK was injured in the incident," SSP Baramulla Mansoor Ahmed Untoo. The bus runs a distance of 170 kilometre from Srinagar to reach Muzaffarabad, the capital of PoK.
Meanwhile, normal life resumed in Kashmir after 12 in the noon in response to separatists call for shutdown only till noon. People crowded markets to buy eatables and other essentials for Ramzan. Banks was also busy through out the day. Many schools also reopened after more than six weeks on Thursday where students were given assignments to finish during the upcoming shutdown days.
There were reports of stone throwing in Baramulla's Delina, Sangrama and Palhalan areas after morning prayers. The demonstrators were protesting against the killing of a college student, Syed Farukh Bukhari, allegedly in the security forces custody. Demonstrators hurled stones at paramilitary forces and police.