Saturday, October 8, 2016

Kashmir unrest: Srinagar tense as 13-year-old dies after protests

The unrest in Kashmir has claimed its 89th victim with a young boy succumbing to head injuries late Friday night .
He had been injured after security forces used tear gas shells and pellet guns to break up a protest in Srinagar’s Saidpora area of the old city earlier in the day. While police claim Junaid Ahmad was 13 years old, his family insists he was only 11.

Junaid was admitted to Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) in a serious condition.

The situation in Srinagar continues to be tense ion Saturday with most of the old city areas under curfew.

Security forces fired tear gas shells on the funeral procession of the boy. The slogan-shouting mourners had come out with the procession violating curfew that authorities clamped again in the old city area of Srinagar.

On Friday, authorities had imposed curfew in many parts of Srinagar including Khanyar, Rainawari, Nowhatta, Safakadal, Maharaj Gunj, Maisuma and thwart a protest march called by separatists towards United Nations office in the city.

“The restrictions were also imposed in Sonwar to prevent people from marching towards UN office,” said a police official. Vehicular and pedestrian movement towards the UN office in Sonwar was also restricted.

Security forces swung into action after the hardline Hurriyat Conference faction led by Syed Ali Geelani mailed a memorandum to the United Nations Military Observer’s Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) wanting the intervention of the world body to solve the Kashmir issue.

“Since we believe and understand that Kashmir dispute remains at the centre of the regional conflict, we appeal you to challenge the behaviour of Indian State in Jammu Kashmir and urge it to stop this reign of terror. In the interests of regional peace and global justice we once again implore you to intervene and prevail upon the Indian state to shun violence and initiate processes for granting universally recognised Right to Self Determination to the people of Jammu and Kashmir,” the memorandum read.

Police and CRPF personnel set up roadblocks to prevent the movement of people after separatists urged people to move en-masse towards the UN office demanding right to self determination.
Friday prayers were not held in the Jamia Masjid for the 13th consecutive Friday owing to the restrictions. The valley witnessed sporadic protests and shutdown on the 91st day on Friday of unrest which was triggered by the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani on July 8.

Protests and clashes between youth and security forces were also reported in some areas in northern districts of Bandipora and Baramulla. The separatist leadership including Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Yasin Malik and Shabir Shah continue to be either under house arrest or in custody.
The joint separatist leadership has extended the latest protest calendar to October 13. They have urged students to organise day-long ‘Resistance Convention’ on Saturday.

Separatists have also urged people to occupy all the roads leading to police stations in their respective areas on October 10.

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