Emeutes sanglantes à Sopore सोपोर (Baramulla) après la mort de jeunes – juin 2010
Hundreds defy curfew in main Kashmiri city to protest Indian rule, clash with police
2 juillet 2010
SRINAGAR, India — Hundreds of people defied an indefinite curfew imposed on the main city in Indian Kashmir on Friday, triggering clashes with police as they tried to protest New Delhi’s rule in the violence-torn region. There were no immediate reports of casualties.
The skirmishes began as protesters, who were trying to march, butted up against police and paramilitary soldiers trying to disperse them. The demonstrators threw rocks, and the authorities fired warning shots and tear gas, said a police officer, speaking on condition of anonymity citing department policy.
Protests against Indian rule in the Himalayan region have grown increasingly strident in recent weeks, and government forces have been accused of killing at least 11 people in the demonstrations.
Muslim militants have fought in the Indian-controlled part of Kashmir since 1989 for independence or merger with Pakistan. Many in the Muslim-majority region resent New Delhi’s rule.
In response to the surge in unrest, authorities imposed the curfew in parts of Srinagar and other key towns on Wednesday. The measure was extended to most of Indian Kashmir on Friday. Srinagar, the region’s main city where protests after Friday prayers are common, was locked down during the day.
Shops, businesses, schools and government offices have been shut. Authorities have postponed college examinations and blocked text messages on cellphones in an attempt to prevent demonstrators from gathering on the streets.
Police and paramilitary soldiers drove through neighbourhoods and went to people’s homes warning them to stay indoors, said Bashir Bhat, a resident of Safakadal district in Srinagar. The Jamia Masjid, the city’s main mosque, was closed.
« The curfew and restrictions are in place to avoid any law-and-order situation, » said Farooq Ahmed, a senior police officer.
Separatist politicians had called for a rally at the Eidgah grounds in downtown Srinagar, but it did not take place. Instead, a few hundred people sporadically defied the order.
While anti-India demonstrations are frequent in the region, the latest street violence erupted after a police investigation in June found Indian army soldiers had killed three Kashmiri civilians in a staged gunbattle and then claimed their victims were militants to claim a reward. The army responded by suspending two officers.
Separatist politicians and armed militants reject Indian sovereignty in Kashmir, and want to carve out a separate homeland or merge the Himalayan region into Pakistan.
Anti-India sentiment runs deep in Kashmir, which is divided between India and Pakistan and is claimed by both. More than 68,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in the insurgency since 1989.
60 injured in clashes in J&K
SRINAGAR, juillet 3, 2010
With no let-up in tension, authorities on Friday clamped curfew in Srinagar and other major towns of the Kashmir Valley to foil the “Eidgah march” called by separatist Hurriyat Conference. At least 60 people were injured in clashes as people tried to defy curfew at several places.
Apprehending more trouble, the authorities, for the first time in a week, imposed curfew on Srinagar and asked people to remain indoors.
Additional police and CRPF personnel were deployed. Prayers in central Jamia Masjid and other major mosques could not be offered on Friday due to restrictions enforced by the government. Kashmir’s head priest Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and other separatist leaders were put under house arrest. Police sealed all roads leading to the Eidgah as Hurriyat Conference (Geelani) asked people to reach there to register their protest against alleged human rights violations.
Processions taken out
Despite curfew slogan-shouting people took out processions in several places in Srinagar, Sopore, Baramulla, Handwara and Kupwara and clashed with police. At least 60 people, including several policemen, were injured in the clashes.
Two of them are stated to be critical in hospital. Abdur Rashid Paul, Additional Superintendent of Police, Kupwara, and guard of another police official of Handwara were among those injured. An attempt by a mob to attack the house of Lok Sabha MP Shariefuddin Shariq in Handwara was foiled by the police guards.
A senior police officer told The Hindu that the situation was under control though tension prevailed in most parts. “Our effort is to avoid civilian casualties despite provocations”.
People are facing difficulties on account of shortage of food and other essential items. “We are not able to go out. We do not have even milk for babies,” said a resident from Nowhatta in Srinagar downtown. Reports from Baramulla and Sopore also suggest that a crisis on this account was brewing.
Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, head of a faction of the Hurriyat Conference, expressed strong resentment over the continuing curfew and prevention of people going for Friday congregations in the major mosques of the valley.
‘Whenever Kashmiri people bring momentum in the peaceful struggle for their right to ‘self-determination,’ the Government of India blames Pakistan and tries to misguide everyone, both at the national and international level,’ the Mirwaiz said in a statement here.
The Mirwaiz also condemned the imposition of curfew for the past five days and the “continuous siege of the local population.”
He demanded the release of innocent teenagers, political prisoners and release of leaders from house arrest.
A Hurriyat spokesman criticised a Delhi-based news channel for its “deceptive and biased reporting regarding the Amarnath Yatra. Such media outlets in India are trying to give a communal bend to the ongoing peaceful protests.”
Kashmir protests continue, five more injured
1 07 2010
* Protesters defy curfew in Srinagar, clash with Indian security forces
* Indian govt to continue supporting Omar govt
By Iftikhar Gilani
NEW DELHI: Five more Kashmiris were injured on Thursday in fresh clashes in Indian-held Kashmir while three more southern towns were placed under curfew.
In Srinagar, activists of the Dukhtaran-e-Millat took out a protest march in defiance of the curfew. Security forces stopped the procession at Chattabal Bridge, leading to clashes between the two sides.
Officials in the Indian Home Ministry said that paramilitary forces fired teargas shells and used batons to disperse the protesters and confirmed that five people, including a journalist, were injured in the clash.
Security forces also stopped a protest march to ‘Pathar Masjid’ in the old city. The call for the protest had been given by the Hurriyat Conference. Reports said barbed wire and armoured vehicles were placed around the historic mosque to stop the protest.
Life remained disrupted on Thursday in Srinagar and other parts of the valley due to the curfew restrictions. People have complained of shortage of essential commodities in the northern township of Sopore, which has been under curfew since last week.
IHK ministers have started visiting various towns and cities to initiate a political dialogue and interact with the people in disturbed areas. Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh had earlier ordered the IHK government to calm the tense situation in the valley by starting political efforts.
In an interview in Srinagar, IHK Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, however, expressed his frustration at the ineffectiveness of his National Conference (NC) party to respond to the crisis.
He admitted that whenever the party assumes power, it “tends to become docile”.
Interestingly, till now not a single leader of the party has come to the defence of the IHK chief minister.
On Tuesday, one parliamentarian Sharifuddin Shariq from Baramullah had said that the protesters were “paid agents”. However, the next day, angry protestors stormed his ancestral home in Handwara.
Support: In New Delhi, the ruling Congress party leaders on Thursday discussed the Kashmir situation. Later a senior party leader told Daily Times that the party had decided to continue supporting the Omar Abdullah government.
However, the Congress leadership is upset with Omar for not consulting them before deploying the army in Sopore and Baramullah.
Another senior ruling Congress party leader told Daily Times on Thursday that the ruling party had “made up its mind” to revoke the draconian Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) to defuse tensions in Kashmir. However, he said the step would be taken only after Pakistan took action against militancy.
“Since it the issue has external dimensions, we will wait for Pakistan to take credible and verifiable actions against terrorism and infiltration before deciding on its revocation,” he said.
Amid curfew, clashes continue in Kashmir
Friday, Jul 02, 2010
SRINAGAR: Even as Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah asked his Ministers to visit various areas to restore peace, life in the Kashmir Valley remained affected for the fifth day on Thursday with curfew in force and eruption of clashes.
With roads wearing a deserted look and uneasy calm prevailing, life remained hit for the fifth day in Sopore and for the third day in Anantnag and Baramulla, besides adjoining areas.
Despite restrictions enforced by the police and the Central Reserve Police Force, people took to the streets in Sopore, Sangam, Bijbehara, Malak Nag and Anchidora and staged demonstrations in protest against the killing of 11 youths by the CRPF and the police in the past 11 days.
In Srinagar, severe restrictions were in force for the third day. All shops, educational institutions, banks, petrol pumps, business establishments and government offices remained shut on Thursday. Private operators ran skeletal transport service in the civil lines.
Protests erupted at Kawdara, Natipora, Chattabal, Parimpora, Bemina and Maisuma in the city, with scores of people staging demonstrations.
Twelve people were injured when CRPF and police personnel resorted to a baton charge and burst teargas shells to break up a march at Chattabal.
A group of women, led by Duktaran-e-Millat chief Asiya Andrabi, took out the march from Mughal Mohalla.
When the women reached the Chattabal Bridge, a CRPF contingent and police intercepted them. As the protesters put up resistance, the troops fired teargas shells after a baton charge proved ineffective.
Thousands of personnel, equipped with riot gear and arms, manned lanes, by-lanes, roads and the deserted streets of the city.
Curfew creates calm : Mobs attempt breach in Sopore, Baramulla and Islamabad; no loss of life
Srinagar largely peaceful; 10 hurt in uptown clashes
Islamabad / Baramulla / Srinagar, June 30: The curfew, which is already in force in Baramulla and Sopore and was extended to South Kashmir and some areas in Srinagar on Wednesday created uneasy calm across Valley.
However, the youth breached the restrictions in Sopore, Baramulla, Islamabad and Srinagar and staged demonstrations but fortunately no loss of life took place.
At least 10 persons sustained injuries in clashes in uptown Srinagar.
Deputy Commissioner Islamabad Jaipal Singh told Rising Kashmir that a magisterial inquiry has been ordered into killing of three youth by police in south Kashmir township yesterday.
Three youth – Imtiyaz Ahmad Itoo, 17; Ishtiyaq Ahmad Khanday,15 and Shujaat-ul-Islam Baba, 17 were killed in police firing at SK Colony yesterday afternoon during protests.
“We can’t say who fired on the youth but we have ordered a magisterial inquiry into the incident. The probe will be headed by Additional District Magistrate Ghulam Muhammad Dar,” DC Islamabad said.
He said the inquiry will identify the persons involved in the firing incident.
Singh said he was present at Khanabal-Pahalgam (KP) road but the incident took place some 500 hundred meters away from the spot.
The situation in Islamabad and adjoining areas remained ‘calm’ today after imposition of indefinite curfew by the administration.
Curfew announcements were made on public address system and people were asked to stay indoors and not to venture out. Hundreds of police and CRPF men armed with riot gears were deployed in the town to enforce curfew.
DC Islamabad said curfew will remain in force for indefinite period in the town.
However, youth breached restrictions and took to roads at Mattan, Sangam and Dialgam and tried to march toward Islamabad. Police, however, foiled the march by resorting to aerial firing and lobbing tear smoke canisters on the protesters at Kehribal, Mattan, injuring many persons. The clashes also took place between police, CRPF men and protestors at Sangam.
Complete shutdown was observed in Pahalgam and other areas in South Kashmir.
In the evening residents of SK Colony staged protests against police and administration. Chanting pro-Islamic, pro-Azadi and anti-India slogans, the protestors were demanding action against the police and CRPF men involved in recent killing of youth in Srinagar, Baramulla and Islamabad.
Meanwhile, curfew was also extended to Kulgam and Pulwama districts while the police and CRPF men strictly enforced Section 144 in Shopian district.
The youth defied curfew at Arampora, Muslim Peer, Kraltang, Shalpora, Khanpora, Old town, Cement bridge, Khawajabagh , Delina and at many other places in Sopore and Baramulla and staged pro-freedom demonstrations. Chanting pro-freedom, pro-Islamic and anti-India slogans, the protestors were demanding action against the police and CRPF men involved in the killing of teenagers.
They clashed with police and CRPF men, who fired tear smoke shells and resorted to heavy baton charge to disperse the protestors, who retaliated by hurling bricks and stones towards them. The clashed continued for some time.
Meanwhile, the army staged flag march in the curfew-hit areas. The army men conducted flag march in Old town, Khanpora, Main Chowk and many other parts in North Kashmir. The army men were also seen patrolling the interiors of the streets in Sopore and strictly enforcing curfew, which is in place since Friday evening.
A senior police officer said a contingent of the army led by a brigadier staged a flag march in old Baramulla town to instill confidence in the people and defuse tensions there.
« The flag march was carried out after the district magistrate made a formal request to the army, » he said.
Inspector General Police (IGP) North Kashmir Pankaj Saxena told Rising Kashmir that they are mulling dialogue with the senior citizens and intellectuals of the district.
“We have called a meeting with the senior citizens and intellectuals of the town. They have agreed to extend full support to the government in restoring normalcy. We hope the situation will improve tomorrow,” Saxena said.
He, however, said the curfew and restrictions will continue till the situation improves.
BandiporaA day after blocking SMS service, the authorities on Wednesday seized newspaper copies.
In the morning police seized about 800 copies of newspapers including Rising Kashmir at Ajas, 15 kms from Bandipora. Police had already laid siege around the area to stop newspapers from reaching the town.
Though few newspaper copies reach to the hawkers in Bandipora but police seized those copies as well.
Meanwhile, people staged peaceful protests at Nabirpora, Plan, Asthingo, Aajin and Ajas areas. Raising pro-freedom, pro Islamic and anti-India slogans, the protestors were demanding action against the police and CRPF men involved in killing of youth in Srinagar, Sopore and Islamabad.
The residents of Bandipora town alleged that CRPF men forcibly entered residential houses in Ward No 2,3 and 4 and ransacked the household goods and beat the inmates. “The cops also smashed windowpanes of several houses and parked vehicles. They also beat up several persons,” they alleged.
Srinagar wore a deserted look after curfew was clamped in eight police stations in a bid to stem three weeks of deadly protests that have claimed 11 innocent lives and led to soaring tensions. Thousands of paramilitary CRPF troops and policemen armed with sophisticated weapons and riot gear guarded the deserted streets, lanes and by lanes to enforce the curfew and prevent people from staging pro-freedom demonstrations. At many places, police and CRPF men had placed concertina wires and blocked roads and crossings with armored vehicles leading to sensitive areas of the city.
The restrictions were more intense in old Srinagar city and the people were confined to their houses. Troops restricted even the slightest movement and demanded curfew passes from people.
In civil lines area the police and CRPF personnel strictly enforced Section 144 and did not allow assembly of more than four persons.
However, defying security restrictions youth took to streets at Batamaloo, Umarabad HMT, Nowhatta, Natipora, Rangreth, Tulsi Bagh and adjoining areas and staged protests against killing of unarmed protesters in North and South Kashmir.
At Umarabad angry youth damaged the window panes of police vehicle while a CRPF bunker was attacked at Tulsi Bagh.
“Protesters targeted our vehicle and broke its window panes. They also attacked some private vehicles but the situation is under control,” said SHO Parimpora, Ghulam Mohiuddin told Rising Kashmir.
At least 10 persons including some police and CRPF men were injured in the clashes in Srinagar.
The residents of Lal Nagar Chanapora alleged that police and CRPF men barged into houses after minor clashes in the area. “The cops forced their entry into residential houses and ransacked the household items. They also beat the inmates and harassed the womenfolk,” they alleged.
They accused the cops of smashing the windowpanes of several houses and parked vehicles in the area. “Besides, the CRPF and policemen also beat up several passersby,” the residents alleged.
A police spokesman said situation in valley remained largely peaceful barring stray incidents of stone pelting in which three CRPF men and a police officer were injured.
“The stone pelting was reported from Batmaloo and Umarabad areas in Srinagar, Ompura and Galwanpora in Budgam, Delina in Baramulla and Mattan, Sangam, Bijbehara in Islamabad. Police and CRPF exercised restraint while dealing with the pelters and brought the situation under control,” he said.
The spokesman said a shopkeeper received head injuries when he was beaten by some miscreants who objected to his opening of his shop in Batmaloo area. This injured was treated at Police Hospital Srinagar.
Kashmir continues to remain tense following overnight clashes
Two killed in Indian Kashmir protests
28 06 2010
SRINAGAR, India — Two separatist protesters were killed in Indian Kashmir on Monday when security forces opened fire to disperse angry demonstrators, police said, the latest in a series of fatal clashes.
Eight Kashmiri civilians have been killed in incidents involving Indian security forces in less than three weeks, with each death sparking further violent protests that lead to more firing by paramilitary troops.
Troops opened fire on Monday as protesters tried to demolish a military bunker near Sopore town, about 50 kilometres (30 miles) north of Kashmir’s summer capital Srinagar, a police officer who declined to be named told AFP.
« They fired in self-defence, » he said, adding that a 22-year-old Muslim man was killed and three others injured.
Separately a young boy was killed when security forces opened fire to disperse a demonstration in Delina village in the northern district of Baramulla, the officer said, as protesters prepared to march into Sopore.
Violence has risen in recent months in mainly Muslim Indian Kashmir, where two decades of rebellion against rule from New Delhi have left thousands dead.
Monday’s deaths sparked spontaneous shutdowns in Srinagar and other towns of the Kashmir valley, witnesses said. Residents poured on to the streets chanting « We want freedom! » and « Allah is great! »
In the ensuing clashes, some 40 anti-India protesters and 25 policemen were injured across the valley, police said.
Sopore has been under curfew since Friday after two young men died when soldiers opened fire as protesters attacked their vehicle.
Authorities closed all schools and colleges in the Kashmir valley for two days in an attempt to thwart the escalating unrest after separatist groups called on Muslim students to hold protest rallies against Indian rule.
Nuclear-armed rivals India and Pakistan each control part of Kashmir but lay claim to all of the Himalayan region.
The two countries have been in conflict over Kashmir since the territory acceded to India after the sub-continent’s partition in 1947.
In an earlier incident on Monday, seven people were injured when security forces clashed with protesters in Sopore. The clashes erupted when mourners tried to carry the body of a man killed on Sunday through the streets and security forces fired rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse the crowds.
Police said security forces had acted to control stone-throwing demonstrators.
Protesters from outside Sopore answered calls from separatist leaders to defy the curfew and on Monday marched towards the town in a direct challenge to security forces.
India maintains a massive troop presence in Kashmir to battle the insurgency, which is fuelled by the Muslim separatist movement and deep resentment of the central government.
Army deployed, protests continue in Sopore
Jun 29, 2010
Srinagar: Army has been deployed in Sopore and Baramulla towns of Kashmir Valley as protests over the alleged killing of civilians in firing by security forces continue. Additional security forces have been sent to Sopore, Baramulla and downtown Srinagar.
The situation in Sopore continues to be tense for the forth day on Tuesday. Curfew has been imposed in Sopore while movement of civilians has been severely restricted in many parts of Jammu and Kashmir capital Srinagar.
Hurriyat Conference (M) Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq has given a call for civil disobedience, urging people to come out on streets to protest against the alleged firing and killing of civilians by the Central Reserve Police Force in which eight civilians have been killed in the three weeks.
The state government the Central forces have been trading charges on the alleged firing incidents.
« The CRPF action is unwarranted. The Home minister (P Chidambaram) should visit Kashmir and rein in the black sheep in the forces. We can not fight people who have chosen us, » Jammu and Kashmir Law Minister Ali Mohammad Sagar said.
But the Centre responded saying the forces had the right to defend themselves in the face of stone-pelting mobs. Speaking to CNN-IBN on Monday night Union Home Secretary GK Pillai on Monday night blamed the separatist for the violence in the state..
« I think this is all nonsense being whipped up by the separatist elements to create confusion in Jammu and Kashmir. As you are aware, it’s been one of the best tourist seasons in J&K, double the number of tourists that have come to Kashmir this year as compared to last year. The overall law and order situation has been improving and I think that is something that the separatist elements find very difficult to stomach, » said Pillai.
Forty-eight persons including 32 police and security personnel have also been injured in the latest of a series of clashes with security forces. The clashes have claimed the lives of five persons since June 25 and eight in the last three weeks.
La police tire sur des manifestants au Jammu-et-Cachemire
« Terrorisme en uniforme : un autre jeune tué à Sopore », titre le quotidien du Jammu-et-Cachemire. Un jour à peine après que le ministre en chef de l’Etat, Omar Abdullah, a accusé les forces policières et paramilitaires d’avoir « la gâchette facile », un jeune de 22 ans a été abattu dans la ville de Sopore, le 27 juin. Il participait à une manifestation pour dénoncer la mort de six civils, tués par la police plus tôt dans le mois. Ce 28 juin, la police aurait de nouveau ouvert le feu sur des dizaines de milliers de manifestants.
2 more killed in Valley clashes
Srinagar, June 28
In the continuing spate of violence, at least two persons, including a minor, were killed and several others injured in fresh clashes between the agitating residents and CRPF near Sopore town of Baramulla district in north Kashmir today.
Demonstrations were also held in several parts of the city here as the moderate faction of the APHC took out a procession from downtown locality of Rajouri Kadal to Sopore to express solidarity with the people there following the recent deaths.
Clashes also took place in other major towns of the valley, including Anantnag, Shopian, Beijbehara, Baramulla and Handwara. Nearly 100 persons were injured in the clashes between protesters and the police and CRPF near Sopore and elsewhere in the valley against the killings.
An official spokesman said the call for march to Sopore evoked little response and there were few processions from Baramulla district and Srinagar. In the stone pelting and counter action, two persons died while 35 others, including four civilians and 31 police personnel, were injured. Those injured included an SSP, SP, DSP, SHO, two ASIs and 23 constables.
The state government has condemned the incidents of killings today and blamed the separatists for instigating people, which had been resulting in the recent killings. Chief Minister Omar Abdullah held a meeting with his senior ministerial colleagues and DGP Kuldeep Khoda at his Gupkar residence here this evening to review the situation.
Emerging out of the meeting, Minister for Law and Parliamentary affairs Ali Mohammad Sagar said the government had taken certain preventive measures and the people would know the results very soon. One person Tajamul Ahmad Bhat was killed and several others were injured when they clashed with the police and CRPF jawans near Sangrama in an attempt to march towards Sopore this morning. Agitated residents, according to the police and eyewitnesses, pelted stones on a picket of the security forces prompting the police and CRPF jawans to use teargas shells and baton charge. Several senior APHC leaders were taken into custody to prevent the march to Sopore.
Kid, youth killed in CRPF firing, Kashmir on boil
Jun 29, 2010
SRINAGAR: In a throwback to the Jammu and Kashmir government’s mishandling of the 2009 Shopian rape and murder case, street protests over the killing of two youth in CRPF firing in Sopore degenerated into a full-blown riot on Monday in which two more people — including a 9-year-old boy — were killed. The toll from CRPF firing on protesters over the last fortnight, that underscores serious administrative lapses, has now climbed to eight.
The street battles that evoked images of Kashmir’s troubled nineties, with separatists waving green Islamic flags, raised questions about chief minister Omar Abdullah’s ability to control the situation that could be exploited by the Hurriyat to shore up its waning campaign. The spiralling violence could also undo the military successes against terrorism that over the past few years restored calm in the valley and brought about a new sense of security and confidence, leading to peaceful elections and a rebound of tourism.
State law minister Ali Mohammed Sagar blamed the CRPF’s trigger-happy crowd control tactics for the violence.
He said the paramilitary « lacked command » and had gone « out of control ». Sagar said CRPF troopers’ firing at unarmed protesters was « unwarranted » and urged Union home minister P Chidambaram to visit the state and rein in the paramilitary force. The minister said the state government was helpless in controlling CRPF and that their actions were alienating the public. « We can fight militants, Hurriyat and our political opponents but we can’t fight our people, » Sagar told reporters.
An official release said CM Omar Abdullah also spoke to Chidambaram on Sunday to complain that CRPF’s actions were sending the wrong signal about the role of central forces in Kashmir.
CRPF DG Vikram Srivastav claimed his troops fired in self-defence. « Only rubber bullets were used. The CRPF men are exercising restraint, » he said.
Reports from Sopore said 17-year-old Tajamul Ahmad was killed on Monday at Kapran after CRPF troopers fired at a group of people who defied restrictions to protest against the killing of another teenager in CRPF firing a day earlier. Hours later, nine-year-old Tariq Ahmad was killed when the troopers fired at another procession at Delina along the Srinagar-Baramulla highway.
Dozens of protesters were injured on Srinagar’s outskirts when cops fought with hundreds of young men riding motorcycles who tried to enter Sopore to join the protest against the killing of three men there since Friday. « Go India, go back. We want freedom, » shouted the protesters.
The victims — Shakeel Ahmad Ganai (14) and Firdous Ahmad (17) — were shot dead by CRPF troopers who fired at a group of protesters throwing stones and attempting to set fire to CRPF vehicles. Another youth, Bilal Ahmad Wani (21), was killed in this prosperous apple town on Sunday when CRPF allegedly fired at group of people that included children.
Protests have flared since the killing of three youth in police action earlier this month. Javaid Ahmad Malla, 17, was killed and five others injured when CRPF troopers fired at the funeral procession of another teenager, Mohammed Rafiq Bangroo, in old Srinagar last week. Earlier, another youth Tufail Ahmad, 17, was killed after he was caught in a clash between stone-pelters and cops in old Srinagar.
Eyewitnesses said motorcycle-borne youths chanted pro-Azadi slogans before cops dispersed them at Hokersar. Two boys were injured in police firing at separate processions in Srinagar. Hundreds of Kashmir University students held overnight demonstrations against human rights violations and the killing of youth in CRPF firing.
Separatists led by pro-Pakistan Hurriyat faction leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s aide Musarat Alam moved to cash in on the anger. Alam, who took over after Geelani was booked under Public Safety Act and sent behind bars, announced a 10-day protest program dubbed as « quit Kashmir movement ».
Stone-pelting to riots, a distinct pattern
Angry street protests have followed a distinct pattern since the 2008 Amarnath land transfer agitation, as militant violence has dipped to an all-time low since 1989. An incident triggers stone-pelting followed by police action which leads to injuries and sometimes even death. Often, stone-pelting degenerates into full-blown riot; a police clampdown brings uneasy calm but only until the next cycle of action and reaction. The cops have been accused of using excessive force and ignoring standard operating procedure (SOP) in dealing with stone-pelters. The CRPF troopers, who work under the local police’s command, have particularly come under fire for allegedly defying orders to observe restrain.
‘Cops fired in the air, we ran for cover’
Srinagar, June 28, 2010
As I rode my motorcycle with a journalist friend on the picturesque Nigeen road on Monday morning, near Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq’s home, I thought the authorities might have clamped curfew in the old city to prevent the separatist leader’s march.
But to my surprise all roads were open.
I reached Rajouri Kadal in downtown Srinagar, from where Umar’s procession was supposed to start.
I left my bike at a friend’s place and decided to go on foot. Not more than 200 youngsters had gathered at Rajouri Kadal chowk. They started the march with no one leading them as the Mirwaiz was under house arrest. There were no CRPF men on road.
The protesters’ limited numbers did not dampen their enthusiasm. They screamed « we want freedom » and « go India go ».
As the group marched through the old city roads, men — young and old — joined them. A few women walked along for some distance, too. Rajouri Kadal, Kawdara, Safa Kadal…after walking 6 km, the group had swelled to around 6,000 at Qamarwari. People offered water and soft drinks to the marchers.
My mind flashed back to the 2008 Amarnath land agitation, when lakhs of people marched on the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad road.
As Monday’s marchers reached the city’s outskirts at Hokarsar, they numbered around 10,000.
At Hokarsar, they were greeted by barricades and police personnel in riot gear. As they tried to march ahead, the police fired tear gas shells.
The protesters hurled stones at the police.
Policemen fired bullets in the air. Everyone ran to take cover. I and some other photojournalists dashed into a house.
When we came out of the house, some youngsters stopped us.
« What kind of journalists are you? You don’t show anything. People are being killed and nobody outside seems to care, » they yelled. They manhandled a colleague.
We somehow managed to leave the area.
(Waseem Andrabi is an HT photojournalist)
9-Yr-Old Among Two More Killed, 100 Injured
Srinagar, June 28, KONS: Blood was spilt in Kashmir again on Monday as government forces gunned down two more civilians by opening fire on protestors in Sopore and Baramulla, and left scores injured by raking massive processions with bullets, pushing the volatile region dangerously to the edge of upheaval.
Monday’s victims included a nine-year-old boy who fell to bullets in Baramulla where curfew was imposed along with the sister town of Sopore which witnessed its fourth death in forces’ firing in as many days.
Reeling under a series of killings by the CRPF, and amid resounding slogans of “Go India, Go,” the valley saw a massive surge towards Sopore on Monday on a separatist call which the government sought to stem by heavy tear gassing and gunfire.
In violent turmoil over the third killing by the forces yesterday, the apple town in north Kashmir descended further into chaos as uniformed men opened fire on a procession returning from burying Sunday’s young victim.
The firing by the CRPF’s 92nd battalion left another teenager, Tajamul Bashir, dead, and nearly a dozen others injured, setting off a ferocious wave of violence that soon engulfed the town which resembled a battle ground with thousands in the streets protesting the killings and fighting the armed paramilitary men with stones.
A massive procession of locals had defied curfew restrictions by taking to the streets since morning to bury yesterday’s victim, only to be left with another dead young boy in their hands amid widespread violence.
The news of the fresh killing in Sopore added fuel to the fire in north Kashmir where large processions were heading for the apple town.
People from as far away as Uri headed for Baramulla in motorcades on their way to Sopore, and uprooted police and paramilitary barricades near Khwaja Bagh.
Nine-year-old Tariq Ahmad Rathar was killed and 15 other injured as government forces opened indiscriminate fire on the procession that was breaking through police and paramilitary resistance.
Heavy tear gas shelling followed, leaving ten more persons injured, and protestors emerged from various Baramulla localities against the latest killing, clashing with the uniformed forces at a number of places.
The district administration clamped curfew in both towns, but residents repeatedly defied the restrictions to take to the streets in fresh demonstrations.
Thousands of people took to the streets in Handwara against the fresh killings, and scores of civilians and policemen were injured in violence following a bid by the protestors to storm a local police station.
In Srinagar, a procession from Rajouri Kadal made its way as far as Hokarsar where it was blocked by the police and the paramilitary forces who used tear gas shelling and firing after the situation turned violent at their attempt to break up the march.
Twenty persons were reported injured in the firing, and were rushed to hospitals, where several were reported to be in critical condition.
Angry crowds beat up two policemen and damaged two police Gypsies.
Several journalists were injured during the retaliatory forces’ action.
The news of the firing on the procession set off angry protests in the old city which began reverberating to the chants of “Go India, Go” over mosque loudspeakers, and brick batting broke out in the streets between protestor and the forces, the latter replying with bullets, leading to injuries to 10 persons.
Crowds attacked the Karan Nagar police station while returning from admitting the injured to hospital, but were repulsed by police firing.
Curfew imposed in Kashmir’s Sopore, Baramulla
Jun 29, 2010
SRINAGAR: Curfew was imposed in Jammu and Kashmir’s Sopore and Baramulla towns and vehicular traffic was restricted in old city areas of summer capital Srinagar Tuesday, a day after two youths were killed in widespread violence.
Additional security men have been deployed in Sopore and Baramulla towns to restore order there, police said.Vehicular and pedestrian movement was not allowed in five police station areas of Khanyar, Rainawari, Nowhatta, M.R. Gunj and Safa Kadal to tackle separatist violence here. Traffic intersections in the old city areas were also blocked with coils of razor fitted wire.
Preventive restrictions are in force in old city areas to protect civilian life and property from anti-social elements,&quot; a senior police officer said. Nobody will be allowed to create a law and order situation that would endanger civilian life and property. Parents have been advised to remain vigilant against miscreants who use their wards to generate violence ; the police officer said.
Reports from Baramulla and Sopore towns indicate that curfew was being strictly enforced there.
Separatist leaders of both the hardline and the moderate Hurriyat groups have called for a two-day shutdown across the Valley to protest security force excesses.
In uptown areas of Srinagar city, shops, public transport, banks, educational institutions remained closed as tension was palpable here because of Monday’s incidents of violence.
Tajamul Ahmad Bhat, 17, and Tauqeer Ahmad Rather, 15, were killed during mob violence in Baramulla district Monday.
Sopore is a town in the Baramulla District of Jammu and Kashmir. It is 35 km (22 mi) north-west of Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir and 16 kilometers south west from the District headquarters of Baramulla.