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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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Fresh Snowfall in Kashmir Valley

Jammu city recorded 8.5 degrees Celsius, Katra 7.8, Batote 1.5, Bannihal 2.1 and Bhaderwah 0.4 as the minimum temperatures

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Fresh snowfall occurred in the Kashmir Valley on Friday as the weather office said that inclement weather would continue in the state till Sunday.

“Light snowfall in the plains and moderate to heavy in the higher reaches occurred in the today. Weather is expected to remain inclement during the next 72 hours and this is likely to affect air and surface transport to and from the valley,” a MET Department official said.

Very few people moved out of their homes on Friday morning in Srinagar city and elsewhere as a white blanket of snow covered rooftops, roads and open spaces.

Kashmiri Pandits are not returning to their jobs
Fresh snowfall in Kashmir Valley. Wikimedia

Srinagar recorded minus 1.0 degrees Celsius, Pahalgam minus 3.0 and Gulmarg minus 7.5 as the minimum temperatures on Friday.

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Leh town recorded minus 9.5 degrees Celsius, while Drass was the coldest in the state with minus 15.2. Thursday’s maximum temperature in Drass was minus 9.1 degrees Celsius.

Jammu city recorded 8.5 degrees Celsius, Katra 7.8, Batote 1.5, Bannihal 2.1 and Bhaderwah 0.4 as the minimum temperatures. (IANS)