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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.
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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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Jammu and Kashmir cabinet gets five fresh additions

Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh, Health Minister Bali Bhagat and junior Minister Priya Sethi will not be included in the new council, Top party sources said late Sunday.

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The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will induct five new faces in the Jammu and Kashmir Cabinet and has also decided to drop three ministers in the much-awaited coalition ministry reshuffle slated to take place on Monday.
BJP logo, Wikimedia commons

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will induct five new faces in the Jammu and Kashmir Cabinet and has also decided to drop three ministers in the much-awaited coalition ministry reshuffle slated to take place on Monday.

Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh, Health Minister Bali Bhagat and junior Minister Priya Sethi will not be included in the new council, Top party sources said late Sunday.

"Among the existing ministers, Sunil Sharma will be elevated to cabinet rank," the sources added.
Jammu and Kashmir Map, wikimedia commons

“Assembly Speaker Kavinder Gupta will be the new Deputy Chief Minister. Nirmal Singh who will be named the new Sspeaker of the state Legislative Assembly,” the sources said.

“The other legislators who will be inducted into the cabinet today are Sat Sharma, Rajiv Jasrotia, Devender Maniyal and Shakti Parihar.

“Parihar will be sworn in as a junior minister while the other four will be of cabinet minister rank.

“Among the existing ministers, Sunil Sharma will be elevated to cabinet rank,” the sources added.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is also inducting two new faces into the council.

Also Read: Modi govt. is developing Buddhist tourism in the country

Pulwama MLA Muhammad Khalil Bhand and Sonawar MLA Muhammad Ashraf Mir will be sworn-in on Monday.

State Governor N.N. Vohra will administer the oath of office and secrecy to the new ministers at the Convention Centre here.

Portfolios of the Council of Ministers will be announced by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti later on Monday. (IANS)