21 INJURED IN SRINAGAR AS CRPF MEN .....
21 INJURED IN SRINAGAR AS CRPF MEN OPEN FIRE ON PROTESTERS
Srinagar August 16:
In fresh clashes, at least 21 people were injured when CRPF personnel opened fire on a large group of protesters fuelling tension shortly after the Independence Day celebrations in the valley passed of peacefully barring minor incidents.
CRPF personnel opened fire when thousands of protesters at Habba Kadal demanding removal of the paramilitary force from the area and deployment of local police refused to call off their continuing stir.
Two persons with bullet injuries were shifted to the nearby SMHS hospital while a cameraman of a private television channel was among the injured in teargas shelling and ensuing stampede, official sources said.
The residents of the area have been on a sit-in near the Habbakadal bridge since yesterday after CRPF personnel allegedly beat two youth and injured them severely, they said. The protesters took part in the prayers from the road.
The continuing protests stemming out of the Amarnath land transfer row, Independence day celebrations and prayers kept the security forces on the edge but the Kashmir valley by and large appeared calm.
In a sign that the situation in Kashmir was slowly returning to normal, curfew was lifted in all the ten districts following improvement in situation, four days after it was clamped in the entire Kashmir Valley following violence sparked by the Amarnath land transfer row.
Srinagar saw a total shutdown following a call by separatist leaders to observe the Independence day as a "Black day." Streets were deserted with people opting to stay indoors and shops remaining closed. In Srinagar, protesters burned Indian flags and raised an Islamic green flag at the Clock Tower in the city's main bazaar.
Although the Independence Day celebrations passed off peacefully, a large number of people poured onto the roads and streets of the city after prayers shouting slogans against the government and in favour of Independence.
Black flags were hoisted at many places on the call of the separatist coordination committe, which had appealed to people to observe the day as 'Black day'. A group of around 4,000 people marched from Batamaloo area of the city and hoisted a green flag at Lal Chowk before dispersing off peacefully.
A similar group marched from Khanyar to Lal Chowk and dispersed peacefully after hoisting the green flag. A group of Burqa clad women, apparently activists of Dukhtaran-e-Millat, burnt the national tricolour at Nowhatta chowk while a similar incident happened at Lal Chowk involving a group of protestors who had come from downtown city.