Dozens injured, lockdown continues in Kashmir

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Srinagar, Aug 12 (IANS) Dozens of people were injured post Friday prayer protests across the Kashmir Valley, despite the strict curfew and restrictions.

According to police, protests appeared in Shopian, Sopore, Beerwah, Bandipora, Ganderbal, and Baramulla, Kulgam and some places in Srinagar city.

“Security forces exercised maximum restraint ensuring that no critical injury was sustained by any person during the protests, in comparison to last four Fridays, the situation remained calm and under control,” a police officer said here.

For the 5th consecutive Friday, no prayers were offered at the historic Jamia Masjid in the old city’s Nowhatta area.

Protest demonstrations were held in Anantnag’s Arwani-Bijbehara, Gopalpora- Shangus, Kokernag, and Dooru areas. Clashes were reported from Anchidora area of the district despite curfew and restrictions.

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Meanwhile, army men were seen enforcing curfew in Moomin Abad, Achabal area of the district.

Engineer Rashid, an independent MLA from north Kashmir’s Langate constituency, sat on a 72-hour sit-in at the Press Colony along with his supporters.

After persuasion failed to motivate the legislator end his sit-in, police took Rashid into preventive custody and lodged him at the nearby Kothibagh police station.

While Rashid said he and some of his supporters had sustained injuries during the clash with the police, he was seen roughing up cops who kept on requesting him to end his sit-in and disperse peacefully.

Authorities Police had imposed restrictions and curfew in all the 10 district headquarters of the Valley in addition to Handwara, Kupwara, Sopore, Trehgam and Qaimoh.

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“These precautionary measures have been taken to maintain law and order in the Valley”, a police officer said.

Separatists again issued a protest calendar on Thursday extending the protest shutdown till August 18, but asked people to resume normal activities from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. for some specified days.

All senior separatist leaders continue to remain under preventive detention in Srinagar for the last 35 days.

Authorities have also suspended mobile faculties on all mobile phones except post paid mobile phones provided by the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL). Mobile internet have remained suspended.

So far, 56 people including 54 civilians and two policemen have been killed in the ongoing unrest that started on July 9, a day after Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani was killed.

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