Protests, shutdown in Kashmir


Srinagar, May 15: Amidst a spontaneous shutdown and curfew-like restrictions, protests and clashes erupted across Kashmir region on Friday against the killings of four innocents at Handwara in forces firing.
According to GNS correspondent, the Srinagar areas under five police stations continued to reel under curfew like restrictions while rest of the city observed spontaneous shutdown. Hundreds of forces personnel were deployed across seven police station areas to thwart protests.
The police station areas which were under restrictions include MR Gunj, Nowhatta, Khanyar, Safa Kadal, Rainawari, Maisuma and Kralkhud. The government forces had erected barricades and razor wires on city roads to prevent movement of civilians. Due to restrictions, there were no Friday congregational prayers at Jamia Masjid Srinagar.
Amid restrictions, scores of people held protests in Srinagar parts. A protest rally was taken out from Abi Guzar by JKLF activists but when they tried to march towards Lal Chowk, huge contingent of police stopped them. Nearly a dozen JKLF activists were detained by police on the occasion. Following JKLF protest, woman activists of Muslim Khwateen Markaz also staged a protest at Abu guzar and they were detained by police.
Activists of Hurriyat (G) staged protests at Iqra Masjid in Sarai Bala and outside Jamia Masjid Hyderpora after Friday prayers against the killing of youths and a woman. The violent clashes erupted between youths and forces at Natipora and HMT areas which continued for several hours.
The clashes also erupted across Old City after restrictions were lifted in the evening hours between youths and forces. Police fired dozens of teargas shells in several Old City localities to disperse the protesters. A rally was taken out from Nowhatta area of downtown against the killings.
The protests also erupted in Budgam and Ganderbal areas of central Kashmir after Friday prayers. Reports informed GNS that hundreds of people staged protests after Friday prayers at Budgam Town against the Handwara killings. The protest however ended peacefully. The protests also erupted in Kangan area of Ganderbal and the protesters later clashed with forces for several years, resulting in injuries to several cops and youths.
In north Kashmir, violent clashes erupted between protesters and police in Baramulla Town against the Handwara killings. The protesters pelted stones on forces at Cement Bridge and clashes continued for several hours. People staged peaceful protests at Bandipora, Hajin, Ajas and in Sopore areas. In south Kashmir, the violent protests erupted in Achabal, Bijbehera and Tral against innocent civilian killings.
Meanwhile, a police spokesman reiterated his appeal for peace and said: “We appeal the public to maintain calm and not to resort to violence and attack security force and police establishments.”