A curfew was imposed in several districts of Kashmir valley on Wednesday in the wake of moderate Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq’s protest march towards United Nations Srinagar office. Nine persons were injured in clashes between security forces and protesters.
Huge contingents of police and CRPF in riot gear manned most streets leading to UN office in Srinagar. Tight security arrangements were made in restive areas in downtown Srinagar and north and south Kashmir towns like Sopore, Handwara, Baramulla and Pulwama. Four districts were brought under curfew as authorities anticipated trouble in the areas there.
A clash broke out between stone-throwing protests and security forces in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district, 50 km away from Srinagar. “Miscreants surfaced in Palan area in Bandipora town and attempted to disrupt peace and create chaos by resorting to heavy stone pelting on security forces deployments. Three Policemen were injured in this stone pelting,” said a police spokesman.
The spokesman said to bring the situation under control five miscreants suffered injuries. “Four of them were given medical aid at a district hospital and one was shifted to Srinagar,” said the spokesman. Security forces lobbed tear smoke shells and fired pellets to quell the protesters.
Four persons, including two policemen, were wounded in clashes between youth and police in north Kashmir Baramulla town near Cement Bridge.
The security forces’ restrictions, however, succeeded in thwarting any attempt by separatist leaders or their supporters to reach to UN office in Srinagar. Most separatist leader, including Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Nayeem Ahmad Khan, Bilal Gani Lone and Shahid-ul-Islam, were placed under house arrest last night.
“India is standing exposed before the people of Kashmir and the world community. They are not allowing peaceful marches and peaceful processions on a ‘Black Day’ when Indian troops landed in Kashmir. We are telling the world that Indian forces have forcibly occupied Jammu and Kashmir and unless they accept peoples’ right to self-determination to determine their future, our just and peaceful struggle will continue,” said the Mirwaiz in a statement.
Indian Army landed in Kashmir on October 27, 1947, a day after then Maharaja Hari Singh signed the instrument of accession with the Union of India.
Hurriyat faction, led by the Mirwaiz and Syed Ali Shah Geelani, had asked the people to observe the day as "black day". Shops, business establishments and private offices remained closed on account of the strike.