Fresh protests in Kashmir’s Handwara and Kupwara, restrictions reimposed

  • Ashiq Hussain, Hindustan Times, Srinagar
  • Updated: Apr 18, 2016 21:10 IST
University of Kashmir students participate in a protest at the university campus against the recent deaths of civilians allegedly fired upon by Indian security forces during recent protests, in Srinagar, India, Monday, April 18, 2016. (AP)

Fresh protests broke out on Monday in Handwara and neighbouring areas of Kupwara district in north Kashmir, prompting authorities to reimpose curfew-like restrictions which were relaxed for a few hours in the morning after five days, while mobile internet services have been restored in the Valley.

The twin towns of Handwara and Kupwara had been rocked by violent protests that left five persons dead since last Tuesday. After a lull on Sunday, fresh protests broke out on Monday in Handwara and Kupwara’s Kralgund and Trehgam areas.

“Restrictions have been imposed again in Handwara, Kralgund and Trehgam areas of Kupwara district following violent protests,” a police official said.

As soon as the authorities relaxed curfew at 8 in the morning, scores of youth in Handwara came out on roads protesting against the killings. The protesters were also demanding removal of army bunker from Handwara town. Police and CRPF fired tear gas shells to chase them away.

“The protesters were chased away and there was no damage done in the incident,” he added.

In another incident, clashes between youth and security forces broke out in Kupwara’s Tehgam and Kralgund areas following which restrictions were again imposed in the district.

“To prevent escalation of the protests and the deterioration of law and order, restrictions under section 144 were again imposed in the district,” said a police official.

He said that the protesters were demanding the removal of the army bunker from the Handwara town and bringing to book the security personnel responsible for the killings.

Meanwhile, students in two universities of the Valley also held protests against the killings.

Hundreds of students of University of Kashmir in Hazratbal assembled outside the humanities department and marched through the campus, shouting anti-government and anti-army slogans.

Similar protests were also held in Islamic University of Science and Technology in Awantipora.

Mobile internet services, which were snapped in the Valley following violent protests over the alleged molestation of a girl by an army soldier on Tuesday, were restored a little past midnight on Monday as there was no major incident of protest or violence on Monday, an official said on Tuesday.

Situation in rest of the valley was returning to normalcy with the resumption of business and educational activities.

Three persons including a woman were killed in firing by security forces on protesters on Tuesday while two more persons were killed in separate security forces action against violent protestors on Wednesday and another on Friday .

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