Nine arrested during protests in Pulwama

Two policemen and a civilian were injured, while nine youth were held as clashes broke out in this south Kashmir town after authorities relaxed four-day curfew on Tuesday.

Sources told Kashmir Dispatch that curfew was lifted early this morning after the town reeled under curfew for four consecutive days in wake of the Friday’s firing by forces on civilians that left at least nine people injured.

“As soon as the curfew was lifted, youth assembled at Murran chowk and pelted stones on police station. In retaliation, forces lobbed tear smoke shells after they failed to chase away the protesters with baton charge. Two policemen and a civilian were injured in the pitched battles,” sources said.

They said nine boys were rounded up for allegedly participating in the stone pelting protests, while the town was again put under restrictions. The clashes also affected the movement of traffic on various roads in the town.

Demanding an enquiry by the Divisional Commissioner, Dr Asgar Samoon, the Coordination Committee Chairman,Bashir Ahmed Wani said that the locals will not accept the probe being conducted by Assistant Divisional Magistrate (ADM) Pulwama on the instructions of Deputy Commissioner. “We will continue our protest, until the inquiry will be headed by to Divisional Commissioner Kashmir,” Bashir added.

Meanwhile, shops, offices, schools and business establishments remained closed for the fifth straight day in the town today.

On Friday last, indefinite curfew was clamped in the town after nine civilians were injured in forces firing at two different places. Seven people were wounded when forces opened fire on hundreds of people who tried to march towards the site where two holed up militants of Lashker-e-Toiba (LeT) outfit were engaged in a gunfight with troops.

Later, two more persons were injured when the forces opened fire at a group of people near the Martyrs Park at main chowk when they were removing the injured to hospital. The firing sparked off massive anti-India and pro-freedom demonstrations in the town.

As the protests intensified, the district administration announced time bound probe into the police firing on civilians and placed the town under indefinite curfew.