Srinagar: At least a dozen people on Monday were injured when Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and police burst tear smoke shells and opened fire to disperse pro-freedom demonstrations as curfew and restrictions continued for the fifteenth consecutive day today across the Valley.
Reports and eyewitnesses told Press Bureau of India that at least five people were injured when CRPF and police burst tear smoke shells followed by gunfire upon a group of pro-freedom demonstrators on the Srinagar-Jammu highway near Samboora, Pulwama this morning. Chanting â€œWe want freedom,â€ Go India Go Back,â€ and other pro-freedom and anti-India slogans, the people were protesting the recent civilian killing by forces across the Valley.
As the protests were going on, a posse of troops and police reached the spot and lobbed teargas canisters to break up the demonstrations. In retaliation, angry protesters pelted rocks upon the forces sparking off street battles. Forces opened fire in air after they failed to disperse the stone pelting youth, mainly youth. At least five people were wounded in the forces action.
Clashes also broke out in Bemina, Nowgam, Mochou, Bagh-e-Mehtab and other areas of the capital city.
Reports said groups of youth this morning appeared at Mominabad, Bemina on the Srinagar-Baramulla highway and staged pro-freedom and anti-India demonstrations. Besides shouting slogans, the protesters pelted rocks and stones on the forces.
At Natipora, Nowgam, Mochou and Bage-e-Mehtab, Galwanpora protesters had blocked the roads by wooden logs and stones and burnt tyres to restrict the movement of the vehicles. The protesters engaged forces in the pitched battles when the latter came to clear the road blocks.
A vehicle of police skidded off the road while dispersing protesters in Nowgam. Four policemen were hurt in the incident.
In Jogi Lankar area of the old city, police and troops burst teargas canisters to control the protests that broke out after a few youth were beaten by forces.
Clashes also broke out between protesters and the forces in Pattan and Sopore town of North Kashmir.
Early this morning, CRPF troops and policemen armed with sophisticated weapons enforced strict curfew in almost all the areas of the Srinagar city.
In the old city, considered to be the hotbed of separatism, curfew was strictly enforced by the forces to prevent pro-freedom, anti-India demonstrations.
At Nowhatta, Khanyar, Khayam, Nowhatta, Gojwara, Naid Kadal, Bohri Kadal, Rainawari, Kathi Darwaza and other places, CRPF and police had laid spools of concertina wire to enforce curfew.
Similar restrictions were put in place in Kawdara, Rajouri Kadal, Saraf Kadal, Safa Kadal, Eidgah, Hawal and other areas of the old city where CRPF troops and police, equipped with riot gear manned, roads, streets, lanes and by lanes to keep a vigil over the movement of the people.
In Srinagar, curfew was relaxed in East, West, and South Zones from 1400 to 1900 hours. In Hazratbal and North zone curfew was eased around 1700 to 1900 hours.
Curfew and restrictions also remained in place in Baramulla, Islamabad, Pulwama and Kulgam, Bandipore, Shopian, Ganderbal and other districts of the Valley.
However, a police spokesman said that curfew and restrictions were lifted in Islamabad, Pulwama, Kulgam, Shopian, and Awantipore, areas of South Kashmir, and from Baramulla, Bandipore and Handwara areas of North Kashmir. In Budgam district, the police spokesman said curfew restrictions has also been lifted, however, other restrictions under section 144 Cr Pc continues to remain in place in the district.
â€œCurfew restrictions were relaxed in Kangan and Ganderbal from 11 am to 1 pm. In down town areas of Sopore curfew was relaxed from 10 am to 12 pm, in Kupwara town, Trehgam and Kralpora from 9 am to 2 pm,â€ the spokesman added.
Meanwhile, life remained crippled for the fifteenth consecutive day today due to government curbs coupled with Hurriyat Conference called shutdown.
All shops, offices, banks, petrol pumps, business establishments and most of the government offices remained closed throughout the day in response to the curbs and the strike. However, a few schools reopened with marginal attendance of students. The otherwise busy roads and highways in this summer capital wore a deserted look as transport was off the roads and only vehicles of troops and police were seen plying on the roads.