Eight people, including a school-goer, were injured on Monday as fresh violent protests erupted in several areas of Kashmir valley. A ruling National Conference minister’s public rally was also attacked by stone-throwing protesters in north Kashmir.
The violence took place in the backdrop of hardline Hurriyat Conference’s shutdown in the valley. The valley witnessed a lull and drop in the number of stone pelting incidents after an all-party delegation visited Kashmir on September 20. The graph, however, showed sudden surge on Monday.
Protesters pelted stones on the cavalcade of employees and National Conference supporters in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district, 40 km away from Srinagar, after a successful function of the Maha Gram Sabha organized by the rural development minister Ali Muhammad Sagar. The participants were coming our from the Sher-i-Kashmir stadium, the venue of the function, when they were attacked.
“There were minor skirmishes. Some people pelted stones at participants. The situation is under control,” said SP Bandipora Sheikh Junaid.
Five protesters were wounded, one of them receiving pellet injuries, in police action. The police resorted to tear-smoke shell and baton charge to quell the protesters.
In north Kashmir’s Sopore district, 55 km from Srinagar, two policemen were injured in a stone throwing incident. “Two policemen were injured in main town Sopore when miscreants resorted to stone pelting on security forces,” said a police spokesman.
A mob also took to the streets in Baramulla town, near Cement Bridge area. “The miscreants tried to disrupt peace by resorting to stone pelting. These attempts were foiled and miscreants were chased away,” said the police spokesman.
Protesters also pelted stones on a school bus near Humhama Chowk, in Budgam district. “A Class I girl student suffered injuries. She was later shifted to a hospital,” said the police.
Srinagar witnessed a normal traffic despite Geelani’s shutdown call on Monday. Hundreds of parents were seen accompanying wards to examination centres for Class 10.
“Miscreants pelted stones near an examination centre at Unisoo, Chogul area of Handwara, where matriculation examination was being held,” said the police spokesman,
The examination was however conducted smoothly in the rest of the valley. Banks, government offices and many shops functioned normally today. Public traffic and shops in downtown Srinagar and some towns, however, observed a shutdown.
At least 110 people have died in the valley since June 11, when a boy was killed in police firing, triggering a wave of street protest.