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Day 54; another youth killed, death toll mounting


SRINAGAR (KNS): While the clashes and protests continued on 54th straight day in Kashmir, a youth was killed on Wednesday after forces opened fire during the clashes in Nadihal village of Rafiabad area of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district.

According to KNS correspondent, a youth identified as Danish Manzoor, 22, son of Manzoor Ahmad lone succumbed to his injuries at District Hospital Baramulla, taking the death toll in the ongoing uprising in Kashmir to 71.

Witnesses said that a dozen of people were also injured during the clashes between youth and forces that erupted after army entered in village and ransacked the windowpanes of several residential houses in the area.

The injured civilians were shifted to hospital for treatment, they said.

Meanwhile, thousands of people assembled in Nadihal and staged protest against the killing of Danish, a first year student studying Humanities at Baramulla Degree College.

Reports said that amid sobs, tears, pro-freedom slogans, Danish was bid adieu and laid to rest.
Meanwhile, clashes erupted between youth and forces at Nowpora chowk in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district.

Reports said that clashes broke out after the forces started clearing the blockades erected by the protesters in the locality.
“Forces used tear gas canisters to disperse the youth who were throwing stones on them,” witnesses said.
Reports said that clashes erupted inside Fruit Mandi Sopore in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district after government forces stopped the traders from carrying out their business.

Forces entered into the Mandi in the wee hours of this morning and asked the traders to stop their business activities.

They said that hundreds of traders staged a protest demonstration, following which forces resorted to teargas shelling to break up the protests.

Several traders were injured in the forces’ action, reports said.

Earlier, the forces had warned the traders against resuming trading activities early in the morning. “They feared that we were working as per the relaxation programme of the Hurriyat. That is why they wanted us to carry trade from 9 am to 7 pm,” said a trader.

He said if the Azadpur Mandi in New Delhi could open at 4 am, “why not us?”

“Also, curfew was lifted from the Kashmir valley on Monday. But they (forces) are placing restrictions on our movement in the morning and today also, they deliberately blocked our way to the fruit mandi,” said another trader.

Meanwhile, a 14 year old girl was injured after forces resorted to tear smoke shells to disperse the protesting youth in Kaloosa are of north Kashmir’s Bandipora district.

Reports identified the injured girl as Nazia Rashid of Kaloosa was rushed to Bandipora hospital where her condition was stated to be stable.

Locals in Kaloosa and Bandipora accused government forces of provoking people to protests.

According to KNS correspondent, Bhat Zahoor, people in Naidkhai Sonawari and Hajin offered Zuhar (afternoon) prayers on roads to mark a protest against the civilian killings in Kashmir.

Around 500 people in Naidhkhai while 300 in Hajin took to streets and offered Zuhar prayers on roads.

People from adjoining areas including Bahrabad, Palhallan Pattan also reached to Naidkhai and offered prayers on roads.

However, witnesses as per KNS correspondent said that police sealed the Hajin road and raided the residential area during which they arrested couple of youth as well and lodged them in Police Station Hajin.

Witnesses also alleged that some commuters who were passing through the road were beaten by the forces in the area.

According to KNS correspondent, Waseem Majnoon Mir, clashes erupted in Kupwara, Handwara, Nutnussa, Drugmulla and other areas of district Kupwara and left dozens of people injured.

“All ways connecting with Kupwara town were sealed by administration,” witnesses said.
“Over a dozen people were injured after government forces fired pellets and burst teargas shells in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district,” they said. 

In a similar incident, over a half dozen people were injured during clashes in Bumhuma of Drugmulla and Nutnussa of Handwara in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district reports and witness said.

They said that five people have suffered pellet injuries one with eye injuries are shifted to SMHS hospital for specialized treatment.

People mostly youth and women took out major protest rallies from Malik Mohalla, Mir Mohalla, Darzipora, Regipora, Jamia Qadeem of Kupwara town ,Bumhama Drugmulla, Nutnussa, Kawari area of Kupwara district but government forces foiled the protest by resorting to pellet and teargas shelling in which at least dozens injured .

The groups of youth, women raising pro-freedom slogans took to streets.

Witnesses said that they were intercepted by large contingents of police and CRPF. “The forces burst tear smoke shells and cane-charged the protestors who in return pelted stones on them during which many persons were injured and were shifted to Community Health Centre Kupwara where from some among the injured were shifted to SMHS hospital Srinagar,” witnesses said. 

Residents of several localities of Jamia Qadeem, Malik Mohalla, Bumhama, Drugmulla, Nutnussa and other areas of this frontier district Kupwara alleged that forces ransacked residential houses, vehicles and damaged the windowpanes as well.

Meanwhile, in South Kashmir, amid observing complete shutdown, clashes and protests were reported from several areas throughout the day.

Scores of people were injured after forces fired pellets and tear gas canisters on protestors in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district.

Reports quoting local sources in Murran area of Pulwama said that some vehicles of Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) were on way to Government Higher Secondary School today when they came under heavy stone pelting.

“ITBP personnel were to set up a camp in the school which was resented by the locals and protests erupted,” locals said.

“Forces fired tear gas canisters and pellets,” they said, “Scores of people were injured in the forces action.”

They said that the injured were rushed to PHC Rahmoo and Rajpora.

“Two injured persons were brought from Murran to this hospital,” sources in district Hospital Pulwama said.

Meanwhile, forces raided there places in South Kashmir to disrupt the arrangements of pro-freedom rallies being made by the people in the areas.

Reports said that scores of people were injured during the forces action while protesters continued to show resistance.

Local populace has planned a pro-freedom rally in Karshangam, Siligam in Bijbehara today. However, local reports said that forces reached the areas early today, and blocked the roads leading to the area.

“The forces did not allow us to hold the rally following which protests erupt,” a local said, “forces used force to quell the protests but youth showed defiance and clashes erupted.”

Another such a rally was scheduled in Katrusoo area of Kulgam district but forces raided the venue and damaged the stage set for speakers, locals said.

“Massive clashes followed the forces action,” they said, “and many were injured.”

Local sources said that at least ten civilians were injured in the forces action and were being locally treated.

In Khudwani area of Kulgam, hundreds of youths joined by those from Qaimoh marched towards Srinagar-Jammu highway but were stopped mid-way.

Forces fired tear gas shells and pellets on the protestors.

Scores of people as per reports were shifted to the hospital for treatment.

Meanwhile, following nocturnal raids, clashes erupted in parts of South Kashmir’s Islamabad district.
Reports said that forces raided SK Colony and Anchidora areas during the intervening night of Tuesday and Wednesday.

“The forces came thrashing and damaging private property,” locals said, “they were looking for some youths who were not present in their homes.”

“Two persons whose sons forces were looking for were arrested,” reports said.

Meanwhile, reports said that protesters torched the house of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Member of Parliament, Nazir Laway in South Kashmir.

“Nobody was present in the house when it was set ablaze by protesters in Chawalgam village of Kulgam district,” reports said.

Following the forces action, youth took to streets and staged protest during which forces used tear gas canisters to disperse them.

Reports further said that at least five persons were injured after forces used force in South Kashmir’s Shopian district.

Protests erupted in Aarhama area of the district when forces came to “clear the road blockade”.
Witnesses said that soon after that, clashes erupted in the area during which forces used pellets and tear gas canisters to disperse the youth.

Five persons were rushed to district hospital Shopian where they were given first aid.

“Two of the injured have been rushed to a Srinagar hospital,” reports quoting hospital sources said. “One of the two has been hit in eyes.”

Meanwhile, reports said that dozens of people were injured during the clashes between youth and forces in Aishmuqam area of South Kashmir’s Anantnag district.

Reports and witnesses said that clashes that erupted after forces vandalized the venue of a proposed pro-freedom rally in Karshangam village of Aishmuqam during which dozens of people were injured and were shifted to Sub District Hospital Seer and Muqam for treatment.

Similarly, a complete shutdown was observed in central Kashmir districts while clashes were reported in downtown and other Srinagar areas today.

According to KNS correspondent, clashes erupted between youth and forces in Nowhatta areas of old city Srinagar during which two senior photojournalists, Farooq Javed Khan and Waseem Andrabi, sustained injuries while covering the clashes.

People from adjoining area, Gojwara tried to march towards Nowhatta but forces stopped them by resorting to tear gas canisters at Jamia Masjid Srinagar.

Reports of clashes were also reported in Zampi Kadal area of Srinagar during which forces used tear smoke shells to disperse the youth.

Moreover, clashes erupted in Kani Kadal area of Srinagar during which youth chanted anti-India slogans.

“Youth started pelting stones on forces in Kani Kadal area, who in return fired teargas shells to disperse them,” witnesses said.

However, Lal Chowk and other adjoining areas continued to witness a brisk movement of private and government vehicles throughout the day.

Meanwhile, according to Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Baseer Ahmed Khan with the improvement in overall situation, curfew has been lifted from all areas of Kashmir valley today.

“Curfew was today lifted from Nowhatta and Maharjgunj areas of Srinagar. With this, curfew has now been lifted from entire Kashmir valley as no area in any district of valley is under restrictions,” the Divisional Commissioner said.

He said increased movement of vehicular traffic and public was today witnessed in almost all towns, major areas and Srinagar city as well. “Barring stray stone pelting incidents the situation remained peaceful across the valley,” he said.

The Div Com said that, as per a report from the police, a mob of more than 900 people attacked an army convoy at Ladoora, Rafiabad and amidst stone pelting some fires were shot on the army convoy on way to Kupwara. “The Army fired some rounds in air to disperse the mob. In the incident 4 persons were injured and one of the injured identified as Danish Manzoor Lone S/O Manzoor Ahmed Lone R/O Nadihal Sopore succumbed to injuries. Police have initiated investigation in the matter,” the Div Com said. (KNS) 

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