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Sunday, November 8, 2015

Youth killed in CRPF action after Modi’s visit

PM’s rally attacked at several places amid lockdown, curfew, e-curfew in Srinagar
Ahmed Ali Fayyaz

SRINAGAR, Nov 7: A 22-year-old civilian died in tearsmoke shelling and firing by Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and over a dozen people on way to Srinagar sustained injuries when their convoys were attacked by demonstrators even as Police and security forces put the capital city under lockdown and the Mufti Sayeed government ordered suspension of Internet services for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rally at Sher-e-Kashmir International Cricket Stadium here on Saturday.

Informed sources said that the residents of Zainakoot clashed with CRPF in the evening while demonstrating against Modi’s rally, detention of separatist leaders, arrest of hundreds of activists and ban on the Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s “million march” programme. Such clashes and demonstrations happened at several places all through the day.

Gowhar Ahmad Dar s/o Ghulam Mustafa Dar was critically hit in his head. Later, he succumbed to injuries at SKIMS, Soura. Sources said that the situation was “extremely tense” in Zainakoot-Shalteng area, on north-west periphery of Srinagar where the funeral of the deceased youth could be held anytime around midnight.

SSP Srinagar Amit Kumar told STATE TIMES that Gowhar Dar, according to a CRPF report, was hit in his head by a tearsmoke canister. He was rushed to SKIMS Medical College Bemina and later referred to SKIMS Soura.  Doctors declared him brought dead. “Body is being handed over to the family and the funeral rites could be held later tonight. There’s tension but situation is well under control”, SSP said.

However, doctors, who examined Dar’s body, told this newspaper that he had been hit by a bullet straight into his dead that caused his death. Chairman of Hurriyat’s moderate faction Mirwaiz Umar Farooq called for a protest shutdown on Sunday.

Earlier, demonstrators carried out intermittent attacks on the cavalcades ferrying people for participation in Modi’s rally at several places on Srinagar-Sopore highway. Dozens of the vehicles engaged for transportation of the supporters of the Peoples Conference chairman and Minister of Animal Husbandry Sajjad Gani Lone were subjected to intense stone pelting on Sopore-Handwara Road around Seelu. Official sources said that 16 Tata Sumo vehicles were damaged and 8 persons sustained injuries. Consequently, a number of the vehicles turned back to Handwara.

Nevertheless, over 3,000 of Lone’s followers managed to reach Srinagar and they attended Modi’s rally.

Reports said that five PDP workers sustained injuries when they were on way to the rally but their vehicle turned turtle near Bijbehara.

Here in the capital city, authorities enforced curfew without formal announcement and disallowed every “unauthorised” civilian movement. Only the people and vehicles carrying special passes issued by Police for participation in Modi’s rally were allowed to proceed. Consequently, afternoon prayers could not be conducted at some mosques. Even after the lockdown was withdrawn after Modi’s departure for Chanderkote at 1300 hours, total shutdown continued in entire capital city. Even the day’s newspapers were not sold as all newsstands were shut down.

All the Internet services remained suspended under orders of the Mufti government from 0900 hours to 1400 hours in Kashmir valley in order to jam access mainly to the social media platforms of Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter and YouTube. Officials pleaded that the “e-curfew” had become necessary as they had apprehensions that the separatist and anti-national elements could disturb peace with broadcasting of rumours and provocation for violence.


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