Thaw on day nine; 7 civilians injured in clash in Bandipore
Ahmed Ali Fayyaz
SRINAGAR, July 17: With a near-total communication and information blockade in entire Kashmir valley, no major clash took place between the protesters and security forces on the 9th consecutive day of shutdown after militant Burhan Wani’s death in an encounter in Kokernag area of Anantnag district on July 8.
Authoritative sources told STATE TIMES that a unit of Rashtriya Rifles proceeded to Saderkot Bala in Bandipore district for some minor recoveries, like guillotine rods. During the operation, residents resisted with the argument that the ballistic material being recovered was used under proper license for quarrying at the local sites. After an altercation, there was a clash between the residents and the troops in which seven civilians sustained injuries.
Sources said that four civilians were injured with firearms. All the seven injured were rushed to Srinagar and admitted at SKIMS for treatment. Sources said that six soldiers were injured in the clash as the residents attacked the Army cavalcade including two Casper vehicles. An unconfirmed report said that one of the critically injured civilians succumbed on way to hospital. A Police spokesman maintained that no fatal casualty took place in Saderkot Bala, Bandipore.
In another incident, one protester was hit by a teargas shell in his neck at Rainawari in Srinagar. He was rushed to hospital.
Sources said that around 20 civilian protesters and about a dozen Police and security forces personnel sustained injuries on Sunday in different clashes. Most of these clashes occurred at the time of withdrawal of Police and paramilitary deployments from different places.
Restrictions were in place in downtown Srinagar and several other areas in the Valley even as the separatists-sponsored shutdown crippled normal life on the 9th consecutive day. Government was forced to declare extension of summer vacation of colleges and schools till July 25.
As many as 41 persons, including one Police driver, have died in the Valley-wide clashes in turbulent aftermath of Burhan Wani’s death. Besides around 1700 people have sustained injuries and 25 Police establishments have been destroyed by protesting crowds. Monday is the concluding day of the shutdown call issued by different separatist groups. Even Tuesday can remain disturbed as Pakistan has called for observance of ‘Black Day’ in solidarity with the 40-odd civilians killed and her demand of Plebiscite under the UN resolutions.
In today’s situation bulletin, a Police spokesman said: “The overall situation throughout Kashmir valley remained calm. There was no report of any untoward incident from any part of the valley. However, stray incidents of stone pelting were received from Kunzer in Baramulla, Eidgah in Srinagar and Saderkote Bala in Bandipora”. He said that “some Policemen, CRPF personnel and civilians” received injuries in these incidents.
[Published in today’s STATE TIMES]