Curfew re-imposed in Srinagar, six injured in clashes
Curfew was re-imposed and strictly enforced in Srinagar city and many other districts of Kashmir today as the state government feared protests in response to separatists "Batamaloo chalo (march)" called to pay tributes to four persons, including a 28-year-old woman, killed in security forces' action on July 6.india Updated: Jul 16, 2010 20:42 IST
Curfew was re-imposed and strictly enforced in Srinagar city and many other districts of Kashmir on Friday as the state government feared protests in response to separatists "Batamaloo chalo (march)" called to pay tributes to four persons, including a 28-year-old woman, killed in security forces' action on July 6.
More than six people were injured in protesters-security forces clash in the valley.
The move to re-impose curfew came after only three days of ease in security restrictions in the city by the government. A number of protests and roadside sit-ins were held on Thursday, which apparently forced the government to put in place a curfew late in the evening. A unrest has struck the valley since June 11 after a boy was killed in police teargas shelling. For more than a month now, 15 civilians have died in a spate of protests sparked after the killing in the state.
"A police vehicle mounted with a public address system blared that a curfew has been imposed in the city around 11:45 on Thursday night," said a resident of Naved Kadal in old city.
The hard-line All Parties Hurriyat Conference, led by Sayeed Ali Shah Geelani, had asked people to march towards Batamaloo in Srinagar after Friday prayers wearing white Khan suits to pay tribute to the people killed in the area recently.
Though the government made no official announcement on the number of police stations under curfew, residents from most of the localities in old Srinagar claimed that the security forces were not allowing them to come on roads or assemble. In north Kashmir, strict security restrictions were in place in Handwara, Sopore and Baramulla. In south Kashmir, Pulwama and Anantnag towns were placed under a curfew.
A major clash broke out in uptown Srinagar's Hyderpora, Peerbagh and Barzullah areas when people after the Friday prayers started marching towards Batamaloo, 2 km from these areas.
Police resorted to heavy tear-gas smoke shelling to quell the protesters. More than four people were reportedly injured in the clashes but none grievously. The pitched stone battles continued for most of the afternoon.
In Ganderbal district's Saloora area, locals told HT that a clash broke out when the police chased youths in the area in the afternoon.
"Indiscriminate and disproportionate use of tear-gas shells was resorted by the police against the protesting boys," a local told the HT.
He alleged more than a dozen teargas shells were fired into residential houses and by-lanes by the security forces. Police refused to confirm or reject the allegations.
Two people were injured when a clash broke out in south Kashmir's Kadipora area, 55 south of Srinagar. Earlier in the day, two youth, according to residents, were picked up by the police's special operations group from the area.
There were also reports of minor protests from Srinagar city where pro-freedom and anti-India slogans were raised. Similar protests were reported from Sopore too.
Meanwhile, the APHC in its new protest calendar issued on Friday asked people to organise demonstrations and sit-ins all through next week, including protests by employees, but there will be no shutdown till 2 pm on Staurday. The protest calendar is part of the "Quit Kashmir campaign" launched by the conglomerate, said a Hurriyat spokesman.