Sumbal/ Srinagar Feb 10: A youth died on Sunday when he was allegedly chased by policemen and was forced to jump in River Jehlum in north Kashmir’s Sumbal area in Bandipore district. However, Police denied that he was chased by the cops and claimed that he died when a boat he was traveling in capsized. Meanwhile, four people including three policemen were injured in Hajin area during clashes.
Locals alleged that Police and paramilitary CRPF men were chasing protesters near Sumbal Bridge. Four youth jumped into river out of which Tariq Ahmed Bhat son of Muhammad Maqbool Bhat died, while Parviaz Ahmed Rather son of Ghulam Qadir Rather of Wangipora Sumbal was shifted to Srinagar for the specialized treatment, they claimed.
The body of Tariq Ahmed was retrieved from the river Jehlum near Sumbal around 5:45 pm.
Witnesses said: “Protesters fought pitched battles with police and paramilitary CRPF men throughout the day. When cops where preparing to leave in the evening they chased the demonstrators during which a few youth jumped into Jhelum, out of which two drowned and one of them died.”
However, Police denied that youth were being chased. Superintendent of Police Ganderbal Shahid Meraj said: “A youth died when a boat he was traveling in capsized in river Jehlum. Forces did not chase the youth. Actually the youth traveling in the boat saw forces deployment on the other side of the river. They tried to return during which their boat capsized.”
A police spokesman in a statement here said: “The boat which was ferrying people from Batwani to Wangipora, Sumbal over river Jehlum capsized. Six persons sailing in the boat fell in the water. Five persons were rescued; however, one of them Tariq Ahmad Bhat of Batwina drowned. The body of deceased was fished out and later handed over to his relatives for last rites.”
As the word about the incident spread in Sumbal and other adjoining areas locals took to the streets and staged massive protests. Demonstrators were demanding stern action against the cops who allegedly chased them.
Meanwhile, four persons including three KPS (probation) officer and constables sustained injuries during calshes in Hajin town.
“Four persons including three police officials are being treated at Hajin hospital,” Health Officer told Greater Kashmir.
Valley remains under curfew
Ten district of Kashmir remained under curfew for the second consecutive day on Sunday. People defied curfew at half a dozen places across the Valley and staged protests against the hanging of Afzal Guru.
People in various areas of Sopore town in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district took to the streets and tried taking out processions. However, police and paramilitary forces intercepted them and prevented them from marching ahead. Protesters offered stiff resistances and clashed with the force personnel.
Clashes between the forces and people broke out at Khanpora and Transport Yard Bridge in Baramulla on Sunday when hundreds of people took out a huge procession to protest against the hanging of Afzal Guru. They were intercepted by forces. The forces burst tear smoke shells and lathicharged the demonstrators. Protestors retaliated with stones triggering clashes which continued till evening.
Clashes also broke out at Khawjabagh and Palhalan areas in Baramulla district in which one policeman was injured.
Hundreds of people took out processions in Ladoora, Alsafa Colony, Doabgag-native village Guru-Achbal and Saidpora in Rafiabad areas of Sopore tehsil in Baramulla. Unconfirmed reports said that three youth were arrested in Ladoora.
Protests continued to rock north Kashmir’s Bandipora district for second consecutive day on Sunday.
Reports about protest demonstration being staged were received from Hajin,Naidkhi,Sumbal,Kaloosa,Bandipora,Papchan and Nowpora areas during which police allegedly resorted to the tear shelling and aerial firing leaving three injured including one women.
Protesters defied curfew in Nowpora, Papchan,Naidkhi, Hajin, Naninara, Kaloosa and main town Bandipora.
Three person identified as Akaib Mansoor son of Mansoor Ahmed of Papchan, Zameer Ahmed and Afrooza Begum wife of Abdul Rashid Bhat of Nowpora sustained injuries in the clashes.
Residents of Nowpora alleged that police and CRPF personnel barged into their houses and thrashed women.
“It is unfortunate that police and CRPF cops are unnecessarily damaging our houses, windowpanes and allied property while using gun butts, sticks and stones” locals in ward 4 and 5 of Bandipora told Greater Kashmir.
Meanwhile Police officials said that after sporadic protests were reported on Saturday restrictions were tightened on Sunday.
“We controlled the situation and have asked the people to maintain clam,” police officials, “We are monitoring the situation nothing untoward has been noticed yet.”
Defying the curfew, people in Pulwama, Shopian , Kulgam and many other areas of south Kashmir took to streets and held strong protests against the hanging of Guru.
The protestors clashed with forces in Qazigund, Shopian, Kulgam, and Anantnag. Three youth were detained in Anantnag.
Separatist under detention
Meanwhile, acting chairman of JKLF basher Ahmed Bhat senior JKLF ( R ) leader Javed Ahmed Mir, Democratic Freedom Party chairman Shabir Ahmed Shah, PPP Chairman Hilal Ahmed War and Firdous Shah of DPM continued to be under detention on Sunday.
(WITH ALTAF BABA in Baramulla, KHALID GUL in Anantnag and Sheikh Nazir in Ganderbal)