Forty people were reported injured when police teams fired pellets to control a crowd of protesters in Chee village of south Kashmir’s Anantnag district on Saturday morning when Jammu and Kashmir Police went there to dismantle tents put up to host “freedom” rallies.
The move was part of the police’s efforts to wrest back control over villages of south Kashmir, which have been on the boil for over a month since the security forces shot dead Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani on July 8.
The protesters were demonstrating against the dismantling of the tents. Even as curfew remained in place, there were reports of clashes at several places in Kashmir Valley, leaving many injured.
At Chee, as the police took down the tent, tens of men and women came out on the streets. Police fired pellets to disperse the crowd, resulting in injuries to 40 people, including several women. The police said 13 civilians were injured, even as the villagers accused the police of opening fire unprovoked, and alleged that they set the tents on fire.
Later in the day, locals accused police and paramilitary forces of firing pellets inside the District Hospital in Anantnag while youths inside the hospital threw stones on a police bunker. No one was reported injured.
In an incident similar to the one at Chee, the police dismantled a tent put up at Chandagam village in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district. No injuries were reported in the subsequent protests.
In Ratnipora village of south Kashmir, thousands took to the streets raising pro-freedom and anti-India slogans. The protesters marched on the streets of several villages of Pulwama.
Four people were reported injured when forces opened fire to control a mob at Pattan in north Kashmir. Defying curfew, thousands of people took to the streets at Wagoora village to attend the funeral of a 20-year-old youth killed in firing in Sopore on Friday evening.
In Srinagar, Independent legislator Engineer Rashid led a procession to the UN office in the city and submitted a memorandum there. The Hurriyat said senior separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani addressed three rallies in south Kashmir over the phone.