ASP, 2 SHOs among 25 injured in violent protests; Friday prayers barred in historic Jamia Masjid Srinagar

At least 25 people including three police officers were injured in protests on Friday even as a complete shutdown was observed across the Valley against the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Manan Bashir Wani and his associate in an encounter with government forces in north Kashmir’s Kupwara on Thursday.

Reports reaching Global News Service (GNS) said that amidst a complete shutdown in response to the call given by the joint resistance leadership (JRL, hundreds of people protested across the Valley against the killing of Manan Wani and his associate, Ashiq Hussain Zargar, both residents of Kupwara.

At least six people suffered injuries in pellet firing by government forces at Tikipora, the native village of Manan. Among the injured Shakir Ahmad Bhat (18), Babar Ahmad Bhat (23) son of Mohammad Sultan Bhat of Takipora, Mohammad Shafi son Wali Mohd Lone and Shafat Ahmad Naikoo son of Ghulam Mohdin, both residents of Diver Lolab, were shifted to Sub District Hospital from where they were referred to Srinagar for advanced treatment. Another injured, Tariq Lohar of Kakerpati, was admitted in the SDH.

The locals also alleged that CRPF troopers allegedly misbehaved with Manan’s aunt Razeena Begum.

In the clashes that continued till late evening, Additional SP Kupwara, Shafqat Hussain, ITBP trooper Mohammad Maqbool and Head Constable Ghulam Mohammad of SOG camp were injured in clashes at Takipora.

In Lalpora Lolab, at least four people suffered minor injuries in government forces action against angry youth who attacked a police station with stones. The CRPF and police fired warning shots after they failed to disperse stone-pelting protesters with batons and tear smoke shells.

SHO Lalpora Abdur Rashid, Head Constable Ghulam Mohammad were also injured in the clashes that continued till late evening.

During the clashes, forces fired a teargas that fell inside the house of Haji Ghulam Mohammad Bhat due to which it reportedly caught fire. Immediately fire tenders rushed to the spot and doused off the flames. The fire caused partial damage to household goods.

The residents of Batpora, Lalpora, Sheikhpora, Teli Mohalla and other villages accused CRPF troopers of ransacking their properties. They alleged that the troopers also beat up several people without any reason.

In Sogam, two youth were injured during clashes between government forces and the protesters. The youth identified as Akhtar Ahmad Lone and Mushtaq Ahmad Bhat were removed to the nearby hospital for treatment.

Police have filed two separate FIRs 79/2018 under section 147, 148, 149 and 80/2018 under section 147, 148,149 at Sogam police station in connection with violent protests against Manan’s killing on Thursday. One FIR pertains to the injury caused to Chowki Officer Kuligam in stone pelting clashes, sources said.

The frontier district of Kupwara wore a deserted look in wake of the shutdown. All educational institutions in the district remained closed amid fears of protests.

Reports of clashes were also received from several parts of south Kashmir, where a complete shutdown was observed on JRL call.

In Redwani Bala in Kulgam, protesters fought pitched battles with government forces after offering congregational Friday prayers. The government forces used numerous tear smoke shells to disperse the protesters, witnesses told GNS.

In Srinagar, a complete shutdown was observed with shops, financial establishments, petrol pumps and banks remaining closed while skeletal traffic plied on the roads, reports said.

The authorities barred people from offering Friday prayers at historic Jamia Masjid in Nowhatta area in Old City, Srinagar where restrictions were imposed along with areas in its vicinity falling within the jurisdictions of five police stations.

After Friday prayers, members of joint resistance leadership held a protest at Maiusma against the killing of the two Hizb militants. However, the protesters dispersed peacefully. The protest was led by Sheikh Abdur Rashid of Hurriyat Conference.

“People should remember sacrifices rendered by our youth and abstain from participating in the so-called elections. One and all must boycott the polls,” Rashid said.

In Soura, youth staged a protest and clashed with the government forces. During the ding-dong battles, at least two people were injured.

Reports of clashes were also received from Natipora, Chanpora, Mochowa and Kralpora areas of city and outskirts. The government forces used tear smoke shells and pellets to break up the pro-freedom demonstrations, witnesses told GNS.

Meanwhile, reports of the shutdown have also been received from Banihal town, and Gundadalkoot, Charil, Tethar and Nowgam markets located on Jammu-Srinagar highway. (GNS)