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Kashmir: Peaceful Protests Continues, Five Wounded In Sopore

By Sheikh Imran Bashir

06 August, 2010
Agence India Press

Srinagar: After seven days of consistent news of deaths and violence, the Kashmir Valley on Friday witnessed less-violent protests amid rains and strict imposition of curfew. One youth was, however, critically injured in security forces’ action in north Kashmir.

Five people were injured, one of them critically, in clashes with security forces across Kashmir Valley Friday as protesters again defied curfew and came out on the streets.

Three people were injured, including one seriously, when security forces fired on protesters in Sopore town, while two were injured in central Kashmir's Budgam district as police carried out a baton charge and lobbed tear gas shells to disperse the protesters.

Meanwhile, as curfew continued in Srinagar and in other major towns, people in several areas complained of an acute shortage of food items and medicines.

Doctor Tabish Medical Superintendent of SKIMS told Agence India Press that one of the injured youth, identified as Rameez Ahmad, had sustained a critical injury.

'He is being operated now, but his condition is critical,' he said.

Two youth were injured when security forces used batons and tear smoke shells on demonstrators in Budgam.

Protests were also held in various areas of Srinagar where some stray incidents of violence occurred, but no casualties were reported.

In Srinagar, protests were held in Batmaloo, Narwara, Humhama, Barthana, Lawaipora and Soura areas.

Protesters burnt an effigy of Omar Abdullah in the Anchar.

In Bagat-e-Kanipora, protesters torched the local Panchayat building.

A peaceful protest was also held at Hyderpora led by Hurriyat (G) chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani. In reaction to Home Minister P. Chidambaram’s statement in the Parliament Geelani said “I have not changed by basic stand.

I still demand India to accept Kashmir as a dispute. I ask people to avoid stone-pelting because it gives excuse to occupational troops to kill people.” He said.

Protests were also held in Shopian, Kulgam, Rajpora, Shangus and Anantnag towns in South Kashmir.

Whlileas, protests were also held at Kralpora, Handwara, Langat, Palhalan, Pattan, Dangiwacha and Kralpora towns in north Kashmir.

Fearing protests after Friday prayers, many roadside mosques and shrines in old Srinagar were not allowed to perform Friday prayers. Prayers at the Jamia Masjid were also not allowed for the seventh week on Friday.

A team of Rapid Action Force (RAF) has been deployed in the Srinagar valley to control demonstrations.

The RAF squad that was dispatched from New Delhi reached Srinagar on Thursday evening.

PRO CRPF, Partaker Triparthi, told Agence India Press that three companies of Rapid Action Force have come here yesterday and they carried out the flag march across the city today. Post their flag march the city is under control. You must have seen that there are no reports of any violence in the city. So, we can say that due to the addition of RAF to the other security forces here, the valley was comparatively calm today.

“The RAF squad is specially trained to control violent crowds, he said.

"The RAF cops are experts in handling mob and violent crowds. Wherever there is any kind of violence the RAF is very useful there," he further added.

A government spokesman said barring few violations of curfew and stray stone pelting incidents, the situation in the Kashmir valley remained peaceful on Friday.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has called a meeting of parties from Jammu and Kashmir on August 10 to discuss the current situation in the Valley and ways to address it.

During the meeting, the Prime Minister is expected to seek views of the political parties of the State on ways to restore peace in Kashmir which has been witnessing a cycle of violence since June.

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