No let up in protests, stone pelting in Valley | india | Hindustan Times
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No let up in protests, stone pelting in Valley

india Updated: Mar 08, 2013 00:37 IST
HT Correspondent

There was no let up in protests and stone-pelting incidents in Kashmir for the second consecutive day on Thursday.

The authorities continued with curfew in parts of the Kashmir Valley and severe restrictions were imposed in towns to bring situation under control, arising after execution of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru and the killing of a student in Baramulla district two days ago.

According to police spokesman, 11 people, including nine police personnel, received minor injuries in sporadic protests across the city and in towns on Thursday. A heavy deployment of security forces in riot gear were made by the authorities in entire Srinagar city. A strict curfew was enforced in at least eight volatile police stations in Srinagar city. Two towns in north Kashmir, which witnessed violent protests on Wednesday, were also placed under curfew.

According to police spokesman, the security forces clashed with protesters for most part of the day in Batamaloo and Zakoora areas in the city. Ahead of Friday, the police have increased movement in interiors of the city and colonies in uptown areas. Around three-dozen protesters have been rounded up over the last 24 hours in the city.

"The situation across the Valley remained largely peaceful. Some stone pelting incidents were reported in Srinagar and other parts of the Valley," said the spokesman. However, a youth was severely injured in north Kashmir's Chirkoot village of Lolab area, 100 km north of Srinagar.

Protesters also clashed with police personnel outside the residence of hardline Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani, who arrived in Srinagar from Delhi in the afternoon. Geelani was detained at the airport and shifted to his residence to place him under house arrest. Tear-smoke shells were used to disperse protesters who were waiting for Geelani.

"It is the real face of Indian democracy," said ailing 83-year-old separatist leader. Except family members, no one was allowed to visit his residence.

At Kashmir University, students alleged that the police detained a scholar near the campus after a protest demonstration. "We strongly condemn detention of Basharat Ahmad, a research scholar...the recent killing of a student (in Baramulla) is part of a systematic escalation of oppression against youth," alleged Kashmir University Students Union.

Accusing the state government of imposing "unwarranted curfew", moderate Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, who continues to be under house arrest, said, "Life in Kashmir was crippled following a well-hatched conspiracy. Curfew, restrictions, and spreading terror and fear by forces has practically turned Kashmir into a Police Raj," alleged the Mirwaiz, whose all associate members remain either behind the bars or under house arrest.

He alleged Kashmiris were imprisoned in their own houses and at many places government forces were not allowing them to buy food and other essentials for daily living.

Meanwhile, amid widespread allegations of turning down of curfew passes to employees associated with essential services by security forces, the Srinagar district magistrate has said the valid identity cards of the employees of health and power departments shall be treated as curfew passes.