Fresh protests in Kashmir despite curfew, one more succumbs in hospital
Protesters on Monday once again defied curfew at several places in Kashmir Valley forcing security forces to resort to firing and tear-gas shells to control swelling protests, comprising women and children.Updated: Aug 02, 2010, 15:22 IST
Protesters on Monday once again defied curfew at several places in Kashmir Valley forcing security forces to resort to firing and tear-gas shells to control swelling protests, comprising women and children.
Today’s anger was further fuelled by the news of one more protester injured in south Kashmir’s Bijbehara area on Friday, succumbing to his injuries in a Srinagar hospital on Monday morning. He has been identified as Tariq Ahmad. Security forces resorted to firing and hurled smoke-shells to control mourners carrying the casket of Ahmad in Bijbehara, more than 50 km south of Kashmir. Two mourners were grievously injured in the security forces’ action.
Ahmad’s death has taken the toll of dead in Kashmir since Friday to 15 and to 32 since June 11, when a boy was killed in police firing sparking off string of protests. Kashmir valley today entered into eight week of unrest with no signs of dying down.
Protesters poured onto the streets in Pampore, 17 south of Srinagar, early in the morning. Five people were killed in blasts in a police station set ablaze by mobs, in Pampore area on Sunday. One report suggested that police retreated from few areas in Pampore after firing and tear-smoke shells failed to contain the protesters.
Responding to the hard-line All Parties Hurriyat Conference call to march towards Srinagar’s Chanapora area -- where protesters were fired upon on Friday triggering fresh wave of violent protests -- residents from nearby areas of Hyderpora, Bye-Pass, Nowgam, Budgam and Bagh-e-Mehtab tried to march towards the area.
Security forces resorted to heavy aerial firing at Bye-Pass, Hyderpora and Barzalla to scare away swelling protesters. Ten kilo metres away from Chanapora, security forces resorted to firing at Qamarwari, Bemina and Chatabal where people tried to defy curfew.
A police officer confirmed firing incident at Bemina to the Hindustan Times. There was no confirmation on casualty.
In East of Srinagar, many protesters, including women and children, marched towards Hazratbal. Police lobbed tear-smoke shells to disperse the demonstration.
Meanwhile, the army was reportedly called in in Bandipore district to control the situation. One protester was killed and several injured in firing in Bandipora’s Naidkhai area on Saturday. There were reports of protests from Baramulla district too, 65 km north of Srinagar and Tral, 70 km south of Srinagar.
For the first time in the last two months of unrest, night protests were held across the Valley in mosques, chanting pro-freedom and anti-India slogans. Security forces fired from their camps to keep protesters at bay in the night. Two people were injured in security forces action last night in Khanyar area.
It seems, there is a complete failure on part of the state government to control the situation. The committees formed recently to visit violence-ridden districts to talk to influential people have failed to hold any significant meeting. The political confidence building measure taken in the shape of release of hard-line separatists Syed Ali Shah Geelani has too failed to change situation on the ground.
All eyes are now on Home Minister P.Chidambaram’s Parliament statement, where they expect major initiatives to cool tempers in simmering valley.