Death toll reaches 3; youth succumbs, body fished out
DAY 3: VALLEY SIMMERS AMID CURFEW
SHABIR IBN YUSUF
Srinagar, Feb 11: Death toll in the ongoing protests against the hanging of Afzal Guru in Kashmir Valley reached to three with a youth succumbing to his injuries here on Monday.
The body of a youth, who according to locals was chased by force personnel in Sumbal area on Sunday, was fished out from river Jehlum this morning. However, police denied that the two youth who died in Sumbal were chased by force personnel.
Kashmir Valley continued to reel under indefinite curfew for third consecutive day today. However, people defied curfew at more than a dozen places and staged protests against the hanging of Afzal Guru.
Ubair Mushtaq Rather injured allegedly in CRPF firing along with three other youth at Watergam in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district on Sunday, succumbed to his injuries at SKIMS Soura here.
As soon as the body of Ubair reached Watergam in the morning hundreds of people took to the streets and staged massive pro-freedom demonstration.
Fearing backlash, authorities removed the deployment from the area. Reports said that thousands of people participated in the funeral procession of Ubair.
Massive protests broke out in Sumbal and Ganderbal areas on Monday morning after the body of Zameer Ahmed, 17, was recovered from river Jehlum. People defied curfew and staged pro-freedom
demonstration and tried to march towards Sumbal, witness said. However, Police and CRPF prevented protesters from marching ahead.
Pertinently, a youth Tariq Ahmad Bhat and Zameer Ahmad had drowned in river Jehlum on Sunday. Locals had alleged that a group of youth had jumped into river Jehlum when force personnel chased them. However, Police had denied that youth were chased by the cops and had claimed that they died when a boat they were traveling in capsized.
As the word about Zameer’s body being recovered spread in his native village Batvina. People took out a procession and tried marching towards main Sumbal town. However, a huge contingent of police and paramilitary CRPF men intercepted them near main bridge at Sumbal-Ganderbal Bye pass and used force to quell them. “Force personnel resorted to aerial firing and fired teargas shells to disperse the mourners,” witnesses said. They alleged that scores of people sustained injuries in the forces action.
Sporadic protests also erupted at Papchan, Hajin, Naidkhi and Saderkoot areas of Bandipora.
Talking to Greater Kashmir Itrat Hussain Rafiquee, DC Ganderbal said that he had taken up the matter with higher authorities. “I have assured the protesters that the matter would be enquired thoroughly,” the DC said and adding that a case under FIR NO. 29/2013 has been registered in this connection in Sumbal police station.
Hundreds of people in Pattan and Palhalan area of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district took to streets on Monday and staged massive protests against the hanging of Afzal Guru.
Protesters raising pro-freedom slogans were dispersed by the force personnel. At both the places forces resorted to baton charge and resorted to teargas shelling. Protests continued for the entire day Monday.
Protests also broke out in old Baramulla town. Police and paramilitary CRPF men used force to quell the protesters. However, demonstrators offered stiff resistance triggering clashes that were on when reports last came in. Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP) Baramulla Zubair Ahmad Khan was injured during clashes in Khanpora area of Baramulla town. He has received three stitches.
Residents of Khanpora alleged that police and CRPF ransacked their houses and damaged the window panes of their house. Protests also broke out in MicroWave colony, Kanli Bagh Road, Koja Bagh areas of Baramulla district.
Protests also broke out at several places in frontier district of Kupwara. Reports said that people took to streets in Kupwara, Handwara, Kralgund and other areas and staged massive protests against the hanging of Afzal Guru.
Protests also broke out in several localities of Srinagar. Hundreds of people staged a protest demonstration at Maisuma area here. Raising slogans and demanding handing over of Afzal Guru’s body to his family, the protesters assembled at Maisuma area and were attempting to march towards Lal Chowk when police and CRPF men dispersed them by resorting to lathicharge and bursting of tear smoke shells. Police said that the situation is under control with adequate deployment of force personnel on the spot.
In city the protests were also reported from Batamaloo, Lal Bazar, and old city areas. In old city the people held strong protest demonstration during last night at various places.
Reports from Budgam district said groups of youth held protests at various places.
All the districts of south Kashmir also remained under curfew and protests against the hanging of Afzal Guru broke out several places. Protests were held at in Islamabad (Anantnag) town and two youth were injured due to tear smoke shells. Protests were held in Verinag and Bijbihera areas of the district.
Defying the curfew, people took to streets in Pulwama, Shopian, and Kulgam districts. In clashes between forces and protests several persons were injured.
Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front ( R) chairman Farooq Ahmad Dar alias Bitta Karatey was arrested by police on Monday, a spokesman of the Front said in a statement.
Meanwhile, a Police spokesman said that one among five persons injured at Watergam yesterday succumbed to injuries at SKIMS, today. Five persons were injured Sunday while “tackling law and order situation” at Watergam in the jurisdiction of police station Dangiwacha. Among the injured Ubaid Ahmad Rather son of Mushtaq Ahmad of Watergam succumbed to his injuries at SKIMS, Monday. The body was handed over to his relatives for last rites.
“One more body of a youth was recovered from river Jehlum at Sumbal, Monday, the youth had drowned in a boat capsize mishap yesterday. The body of Zameer Ahamd Dar son of Abdul Rashid of Batwani, Sumbal was recovered from river Jehlum at Wangipora. A boat ferrying people from Batwani to Wangipora, Sumbal capsized yesterday. He is reported to be one of the persons sailing in that boat,” the spokesman added.
BANIHAL OBSERVES SHUTDOWN FOR 3RD DAY
Banihal Township observed a complete shutdown on the third consecutive day today in protest against the hanging of Afzal Guru.
Reports revealed that all the shops and other business establishment remained closed in Banihal on the call given by Beopar Mandal against hanging of Afzal Guru. The commercial traffic was also affected badly.
Police had made additional deployment at all the sensitive places in the town. However, band passed off peacefully as no untoward incident was reported from any where of the tehsil, police said.
VALLEY SANS NEWSPAPERS
For second consecutive day, none of the newspaper editions published from Srinagar could hit the stands on Monday as authorities imposed curbs on their publications.
However, the online edition Greater Kashmir, was available on the website. Besides Jammu editions of Kashmir Uzma and Greater Kashmir were published from the winter capital.
The curbs on media amidst curfew are likely to continue till Friday, sources said.
This is for the third time in the past five years that local newspapers have been forced to suspend the publications due to restrictions imposed by the government.
Last time the newspapers could not be published for many days in 2008 and 2010.
Also, all the news channels excluding Doordarshan remained suspended across the Valley. However, the entertainment, sports and movie channels were functioning.
Mobile and internet services also remained suspended. However, Broadband facility by the BSNL remained functional at some places.
ER RASHID DETAINED
Member of Legislative Assembly Langate Er Rashid has been detained at Police Station Handwara for the last three days.
“The MLA was detained on Saturday when he was leading a protest march towards Sopore to express solidarity with the family of Afzal Guru. We are worried about his safety as police is not releasing him despite being a sitting legislator,” the PRO of Rashid, Inam- Un- Nabi told Greater Kashmir.
Inam said that Rashid would announce his program to protest against the execution of Afzal Guru after his release.
MEHBOOBA CONDEMNS KILLINGS
Condemning the killing of three young men in police action in Watrgam, Baramulla and Batwena, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) today said it seems the “trigger happy” government is out to punish the people for its own follies and failures.
In a statement the party president Mehbooba Mufti said the killings have brought back worst fears of recession of the surface calm into the tragic events of 2010.
Mehbooba said the death of Ubair of Watergam and Tariq Ahmed and teenager Zameer Ahmed of Batwena, Ganderbal are the victims of an insecure government that knows no means of dealing with people other than brute force. She said it was futile to expect any fair play from this government as it still owes explanation for its crimes ever since it came into power, 2010 being only the worse.
"All those cases a re awaiting closure in spite of announcements of probes and promises of punishing the perpetrators. Killing of young men has become a USP of this government" she said.
Mehbooba said the fact that the young men in Ganderbal preferred to jump to their death rather than face a trigger happy force ready to shoot or face torture at their hands in case of arrest is an index of fear prevailing in Kashmir. "It is tragic that such incidents are taking place repeatedly and nobody is taking a note of these" she added.
Expressing solidarity with families of the victims Mehbooba said no words could compensate their loss. She said her heart goes out to them in this hour of grave tragedy.
KARAWAN-E-AMAN BUSES PLY NORMALLY
Karwan-e-Aman buses plied normally bringing in 15 passengers from the Muzaffarabad to Srinagar, today, officials said.
They said at least 15 passengers came to Srinagar from Muzaffarabad while 3 passengers left back for Muzaffarabad on the Karwan-e-Aman buses at Salamabad, Uri.
Nearly 15 persons returned to Srinagar, while 3 persons including 2 guests from Muzaffarabad returned back.
(WITH SUHAIL AJMAL/ALTAF BABA/KHALID GUL/ SHEIKH NAZIR)
Lastupdate on : Mon, 11 Feb 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 11 Feb 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 12 Feb 2013 00:00:00 IST
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