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Kashmir Unrest: People defy curfew as protests erupt in the valley

Similar protests and clashes occurred near the city centre Lal Chowk - the main business hub of Srinagar.

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Kashmir Protest. Wikimedia Commons.

On Friday across the Kashmir Valley some protest and some violent have defied a curfew re-imposed to prevent a separalist called protest march to Jamia Masjid- to the main Mosque.

Witnesses and police said demonstrations and clashes occurred at many places in Srinagar and other villages and towns of north and south of the valley amid an outrage over the July 8 killing of a top rebel commander.

In Srinagar, hundreds of people, swinging green flags, defied restrictions and marched from a nearby mosque to a United Nations office. They held a noisy demonstration outside the UN office.

Curfew in kashmir. Image Source: www.scoopwhoop.com
Curfew in kashmir. Image Source: www.scoopwhoop.com

Chanting “We want freedom”, the protesters demanded UN intervention to resolve the Kashmir dispute and an end to what they said were human rights abuses by security forces in the valley.

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Police dispersed the stone-throwing crowd of men and some women with batons and tear gas. A police spokesperson said no reports of injuries were received.

Similar protests and clashes occurred near the city centre Lal Chowk – the main business hub of Srinagar.

Protest marches were also held in at least a dozen places, including Bandipore and Sopore towns of north Kashmir that had been relatively calm in the days of unrest when some 50 people were killed in firing by police and paramilitary troopers.

South Kashmir, the worst-hit in the ongoing unrest, saw nocturnal protests raging almost through the night, with people carrying flaming torches and marching in main towns.

(Representational Pic) Kashmiri villagers. Image source:news.xinhuanet.com
(Representational Pic) Kashmiri villagers. Image source:news.xinhuanet.com

The region erupted afresh on Friday with more protests at many places, police said.

In Shopian, also in the south, after Friday prayers people held a rally. Security forces chased the stone throwers using tear gas and pellet guns. Locals said dozens of protesters were injured. This could not be verified officially.

Authorities on Friday imposed curfew and restrictions in the valley to prevent separatist called protests in Srinagar.

Separatist leaders Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik had called for the protest march to the Jamia Masjid in Srinagar.

Police took Geelani and Mirwaiz Farooq, who have been under house arrest, into brief preventive custody after they defied the restrictions and came out of their houses to march to the mosque.

Malik has been lodged in a Srinagar lockup since the fresh summer unrest began a day after Wani was killed.

Life across the valley remained paralysed for the 21st day in a row. It is expected to remain so until the end of this month as the separatists extended their protest shutdown till July 31.

Separatists have, however, said people should engage in activities like shopping for a few hours after 7 p.m. during this period.

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As separatist shops, businesses and schools will remain closed have also urged people to come out on the streets on Weekends and offer early morning prayers and midday prayers on roads in in defiance of government imposed restrictions on the assembly of four or more people in groups.

–IANS

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Quitting Militancy by Kashmiri Footballer Regarded as ‘Brave’ by the Army

Majid Khan, a young Kashmiri footballer has given up militancy to pursue academics and passion for football, leaving the Kashmirs stunned over his decision

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Kashmiri Footballer
Kashmiri Footballer quits militancy.Pixabay.

Jammu and Kashmir, November, 17: Majid Khan, a young Kashmiri footballer whose decision to join the LeT stunned Kashmirs, has given up militancy, the Army announced on Friday, with the 20-year-old making a brief appearance at a press conference here.

Amid conflicting reports whether Majid Khan had surrendered or was caught, Major General B.S. Raju said: “The brave young man, Majid Khan, the Kashmiri footballer decided on his own to shun violence and returned to lead a normal life, pursuing his academics and passion for football.”

The Army, he said, merely facilitated his decision.

“He was neither apprehended nor did he surrender. We only facilitated his return,” Gen Raju said, providing no details about how Majid made contact with the family or the security agencies.

Majid, wearing a black Kashmiri phiran, made a brief presence before journalists. But the kashmiri footballer did not speak and was quickly escorted out of the venue by a police officer.

Gen Raju complimented his parents, especially the mother, whose persuasion he said helped the young man to change his mind.

Majid’s mother’s passionate and wailing appeal to her only son to return home went viral on social media — just like Majid’s earlier photographs showing him with an AK-47.

Gen Raju, who commands the Army’s Victor Force, which oversees all anti-military operations in southern Kashmir, urged other Kashmiri youths to also give up militancy.

“Those youths who have strayed and have committed no crime are welcome to come back and no action will be taken against them. I appeal also to those who might have committed some crime to return within the parameters of law.”

The Kashmir Valley’s police chief, Muneer Khan, said no charges would be pressed against Majid and he would be allowed to join his family.

Army sources had earlier said that Majid, a second year college student, surrendered after walking into a Rashtriya Rifles camp at Kulgam on Thursday evening. He came with his arms and ammunition.

The sources added that he was handed over to Army’s 15 Corps in Awantipora town.

There was a sense of relief among Majid’s friends and relatives when they learnt that he had crossed back — into safer hands.

Kashimiri footballer
Army appreciates Kashimiri footballer, Majid Khan’s decision to quit militancy. IANS.

“It is great to hear that he will be now serving his parents and pursuing his passion about football,” a relative who did not wish to be named told IANS.

The relative said Majid was the only son of his parents, who were shocked when they came to know that he had joined the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), which is active in the Kashmir Valley.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti tweeted: “A mother’s love prevailed. Her impassioned appeal helped in getting Majid, an aspiring kashmiri footballer, back home. Every time a youngster resorts to violence, it is his family which suffers the most.”

Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said: “It is a very good development. Hope he can go back to leading a normal life and not be harassed. (IANS)

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‘Black Day’ Protests : Restrictions Imposed in Srinagar to keep security in check

Separatists leaders have asked people to observe October 27 as a “black day” in Kashmir.

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police and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in full riot gear were seen disallowing pedestrian and vehicular movement in parts of Kashmir. (Representative image) VOA

Srinagar, October 27, 2017 : Authorities imposed restrictions in various areas on Friday to prevent separatist-called protests to mark the Accession Day of Jammu and Kashmir to India.

Joint resistance leadership (JRL) of separatist leaders — Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and Yasin Malik — have asked people to observe October 27 as a “black day” in Kashmir.

It was on this day in 1947 that the Indian Army landed in Srinagar Airport following the accession of the state.

“Restrictions under section 144 of CrPC will remain in force in Nowhatta, M.R.Gunj, Safa Kadal, Rainawari, Khanyar, Kralkhud and Maisuma,” a police officer said.

Heavy contingents of the state police and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in full riot gear were seen disallowing pedestrian and vehicular movement in these areas.

Railway services in the valley have also been suspended on Friday as a precautionary measure. (IANS)

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PM Modi Appoints New Envoy to Kashmir

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Kashmiri protesters
Kashmiri protesters run for cover as police use tear smoke to disperse protesters during a clash in Srinagar,Jammu and Kashmir. VOA

New Delhi, October 24: The center has appointed a new envoy to Kashmir in the hope of promoting peace in the troubled region.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh says former Intelligence Bureau director Dineshwar Sharma has been designated to open talks with Kashmir’s various factions – the first such appointment by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“As a representative of the government of India, … Sharma will initiate a sustained interaction and dialogue to understand legitimate aspirations of the people of Kashmir,” Singh said in New Delhi.

Kashmir has been the center of a deadly tug-of-war between India and neighboring Pakistan since the end of British colonial rule in 1947. The Muslim-majority Himalayan territory is divided between the nuclear-armed rivals, but both claim Kashmir in full.

Kashmir rebels have battled Indian forces for decades, demanding either independence or a merger with Pakistan. The rebels have staged a series of attacks on Indian security bases in recent months, including an attack in southern Kashmir in August that left eight security officials dead.(VOA)