New Delhi: Authorities reportedly reimposed restrictions on movement in major parts of Srinagar on Sunday after violent overnight clashes between residents and the police, reports said. Dozens are said to have been injured in the clashes.
In the past 24 hours, there have been multiple protests against the Centre’s decision to revoke Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and read down Article 370 of the constitution. The protests followed an easing in curbs on movement on Saturday morning.
Two senior government officials told Reuters that at least two dozen people were admitted to hospitals with pellet injuries after violent clashes broke out in the old city on Saturday night.
According to Reuters, the heavy overnight clashes took place mostly in Rainawari, Nowhetta and Gojwara areas of the old city where security forces fired tear smoke, chilli grenades and pellets to disperse protesters, eyewitnesses and officials said.
Officials told Reuters that clashes also took place in other parts of the city including Sour, a hotbed of protests in the past two weeks.
A senior government official and hospital authorities at Srinagar’s main hospital said that at least 17 people came there with pellet injuries. They said 12 were discharged while five with grievous injuries were admitted.
The hospital officials and a police officer told Reuters that a 65-year-old man, Mohammad Ayub of Braripora, was admitted to the hospital after he had major breathing difficulties when tear gas and chilli grenades were fired in old city area on Saturday afternoon. He died in the hospital on Saturday night and has already been buried, they said.
Javed Ahmad, age 35 and from the wealthy Rajbagh area of Srinagar, was prevented from going to the old city early Sunday morning by paramilitary police at a barricade near the city centre. “I had to visit my parents there. Troops had blocked the road with concertina wire. They asked me to go back as there was curfew in the area,” he told Reuters.
Telephone landlines were restored in parts of the city on Saturday after a 12-day blackout and the state government said most telephone exchanges in the region would start working by Sunday evening. Internet and cell phones remain blocked in Kashmir.
More than 500 political or community leaders and activists remained in detention, and some have been flown to prisons outside the state.
Ever since the Centre decided to read down Article 370, voices from the Kashmir Valley have been largely suppressed. Communications lines were blacked out and political leaders placed under arrest.
Mobile internet snapped again in Jammu
Low-speed (2G) mobile internet services were once again snapped in five districts of Jammu region on Sunday, PTI reported, a day after the services were restored.
A police official told PTI that authorities concerned directed service providers to snap the services around forenoon. The official said the decision was taken to check rumour-mongering and maintain peace and tranquillity.
Low-speed mobile internet services were restored in five districts of Jammu, Samba, Kathua, Udhampur and Reasi during the intervening night of Friday and Saturday after remaining suspended for nearly a fortnight.
While authorities did not mention it, NDTV reported that mobile internet was actually snapped in the run-up to the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal rally. “…local sources said it was disconnected to keep the peace during a rally by right wing groups,” NDTV said.
(With agency inputs)