Protests, security siege continue in Kashmir for day three
Security siege and separatists shutdown for third consecutive day on Tuesday left the Valley streets deserted and life out of gear. Minor violent protests continued in several districts as the police launched a clampdown on separatist leaders.Updated: Jun 22, 2010 19:36 IST
Security siege and separatists shutdown for third consecutive day on Tuesday left the Valley streets deserted and life out of gear. Minor violent protests continued in several districts as the police launched a clampdown on separatist leaders.
In the wake of shutdown call given by hardline All Parties Hurriyat Conference chairman Sayeed Ali Shah Geelani against killings of three youth in the police actions in the last 11 days, the state authorities deployed hundreds of additional police and paramilitary troops across the city, particularly at five volatile police stations.
Imposition of curfew-like restrictions by security forces in downtown Srinagar left streets deserted with only troops patrolling them.
Protesters, however, were able to breakthrough stringent security measures at Maisuma in forenoon. Through out the day there were reports of infrequent stone throwing by small mobs. No one was grievously injured in the police action, where troops fired tear-smoke shells to quell the violent protests.
Situation turned ugly at Parimpora, 8 km north of Srinagar, when locals battled a police party with stones and rocks. Protesters alleged that police and paramilitary personnel picked up two youth for the Fruit Mandi locality. Later, the locals, according to them, were thrashed and houses ransacked after a demonstration was staged against the atrocities.
Further down in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district, violent protests once again broke out against the killing of youth. The district was calm after the stone-pelters distanced itself from the Geelani-led APHC. Half-a-dozen were reportedly injured in the ding dong stone battles between security forces and protesters.
Responding to the separatists call to hit the streets in protest, a mob of protesters damaged a security vehicle in Nunaar-Ganderbal, 25 km from Srinagar. The area is constituency of Chief Minister Omar Abdullah. The police lobbed tear gas shells and resorted to cane charge to disperse the protesters.
To contain spreading protests, the police rounded up many separatist and kept senior separatists leaders like Mirwaiz Umar Farooq under house arrest.
“By not allowing me to come out of my home for second day today reflects nothing but fascism on the part of authorities,” said the Mirwaiz in a press statement.
He condemned police crackdown on separatists. “Many of our leaders are under house arrested and many have been held. Such undemocratic measures will not suppress the Hurriyat from continuing with its just cause,” said the Mirwaiz.
While Geelani and Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front chief Yasin Malik continued to be behind the bars, APHC spokesman Ayaz Akbar was also arrested today along with other Geelani supporters in several areas.
“He (Akbar) has been picked up,” said Ayaz’s relative on phone to Hindustan Times. The APHC has decided not to call for any shutdown for Wednesday. The moderate APHC is however holding an all-party meeting on June 24 led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq for future protest programme.
First Published: Jun 22, 2010 19:34 IST