Authorities on Wednesday foiled protest marches to Shopian which were taken out in different parts of South Kashmir in response to the call by Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) to protest killing of four civilians at Pahnoo in the district.
All major routes leading to Shopian were sealed off by government forces who were also deployed in strength in Pulwama and Anantnag districts of South Kashmir. Barricades were laid on Srinagar-Shopian highway near Haal and Safan Naman to prevent youth from leading towards Shopian and forces were also deployed in strength in Imamsahib tehsil of Shopian. A heavy deployment of forces was witnessed in Pulwama district. Residents said that contingents of forces comprising CRPF and Police were deployed at all “sensitive entry points in the district.” They said that deployment was seen at Dalipora Chowk, Murran Chowk, Rajpora Chowk and Washbugh area of Pulwama.
In Anantnag district concertina wires were placed on roads near Degree College Khanbal, Ashajipora and Sarnal to stop people from moving towards Shopian.
Violent clashes were reported amidst a shutdown from various areas of Shopian. Locals said that youth from Pinjoora, Safan Naman and adjoining villages assembled near DC Office Shopian where forces had set up a barricade to check youth from moving towards Shopian.
They said that the youth pelted stones towards the forces personnel who used teargas canisters, sound shells and pellets to disperse them. “The youth engaged with the forces from 10 am till evening,” eyewitnesses said, adding that clashes intensified as the day progressed. Clashes were also reported from Bongam, Batapora, Memandar, Gagran and Chitragam areas of Shopian.
Many youth were said to have received pellet injuries. Authorities of district hospital Shopian said that they received youth with pellet injuries. “Five youth with pellet injuries were received at district hospital Shopian,” said a doctor. He identified the injured as Ummer, Zubair, Showket, Aij and a girl who didn’t reveal her name to hospital authorities. He said that Ummer has received eye injury and was shifted to SMHS Srinagar. The doctor said that Zubair has injury in face and leg, Showket in right eye and the girl has a leg injury.
Doctors at SMHS said that they received one youth, Faizan Teli, 20, who has pellet injury in right eye.