Srinagar: More than 200 people were injured in clashes between stone pelters and security forces in Kashmir today, on the day that an all-party parliamentary delegation was in Kashmir to assess the situation in the valley, where normal life remained paralysed for the 58th consecutive day.
There was no curfew in the valley except some areas of Srinagar falling under the police stations of Khanyar, Safakadal, Nowhatta, Rainawari and M.R. Gunj, a police spokesman said.
Ten incidents of stone pelting were reported from Srinagar, Anantnag, Pulwama, Kulgam, Shopian, Awantipora and Sopore, he said.
In Shopian district of south Kashmir, clashes broke out in the morning and continued for most of the day. Protestors even set fire to the mini-secretariat building which houses the deputy commissioner’s office, a police official said.
“In Shopian, a mob attacked and set ablaze[the] mini secretariat [in] Shopian. The fire was brought under control.
However, the structure suffered partial damage,” he said.
The official explained that the clashes erupted after police stopped people in Penjoora village of the district from organising a rally. He added that over 100 people were injured.
Accordin to the policeman the security forces used baton charge and tear- gas shells to disperse the protestors.
Clashes were also reported in Tral area of Pulwama district where more than 60 people were hurt when the security forces took action against the stone pelters.
“In Tral, a huge mob pelted stones on the police and security forces. Some of the miscreants, when chased, entered a ziyarat (shrine) and again started pelting stones from the compound of the ziyarat,” the spokesman said, adding police “cautiously” handled the situation.
Protestors also attacked the house of Mushtaq Ahmad Shah, ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) MLA from Tral constituency, by breaking the window panes of the building.
“There were clashes between protestors and security forces in Tral and amidst those clashes, some miscreants attacked the house of Tral legislator Mushtaq Ahmad Shah with stones,” a police official said.
He said the protestors broke the window panes of the house, but no one was injured. The forces deployed in the area fired several tear-gas canisters and managed to disperse the protestors who had gathered there, the official said.
In Sopore town of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district, at least 25 people were hurt in the clashes during the day, the official said. Three of the injured are said to be in critical condition.