Amid mob, militant attacks, separatists threaten Police with ‘social boycott’
Youth killed in Kupwara after crowd attacked Police Station, set ablaze bunker; Bijbehara injured student succumbs
Ahmed Ali Fayyaz
SRINAGAR: Even as some of them are themselves protected persons, prominent separatist leaders have implicitly issued a threat of “excommunication” and “social boycott” to Jammu and Kashmir Police at a time when unruly crowds and militants have mounted attacks on Police guards over militant Burhan Wani’s killing in an encounter that has led to around 30 civilian deaths in the four-day-long clashes across Kashmir valley.
According to Kashmir News Service, separatist leaders Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik on Tuesday asked the Jammu and Kashmir Police not to carry any weapons, lethal or non-lethal, while dealing with the mass protests. They have urged the Police “to look inward and ask themselves as to why they have become an instrument of repression at the hands of Indian authorities in killing and injuring their own children and young men”.
According to the separatists, the Police were “not only failing their basic responsibility to their own community but incurring the wrath and dislike of their people, who are so angry and disillusioned with them for their role that they are asking the leadership to excommunicate them and socially boycott them”.
“The leadership said that while they have no expectation of restraint or accountability from the Indian Army, CRPF and other Indian paramilitary forces they expect the same from JK police. Reminding them that at the end of the day they belong to this place and those that they kill are innocent young Kashmiris they asked them to refuse to carry weapons, lethal or otherwise in dealing with the protestors and not become a part of the design to annihilate Kashmiris”, KNS reported.
Requested for their reaction, much preoccupied senior Police officers did not respond till late on Tuesday night.
Meanwhile the multipronged offensive against Police continued in the restive Kashmir valley as some unidentified militants attacked Police Station Warpora in Sopore area. However, Police retaliated and there was no loss of life.
Officials said that the unruly crowds set on fire Police guardrooms at Gadbug, Ruhama Pulwama and a minority guard post at Batnag Tral.
The biggest crowd attack occurred at Police Station Kralpora in Kupwara district where a mob set on fire a Police bunker. Police opened fire which caused the death on a class 11th student Zahoor Ahmad Sheikh of Warsun.
In the wee hours on Tuesday, the critically injured Aamir Nazir Latoo, Master of Commerce student of Delhi University, succumbed to injuries. He had been hit during a clash at Zirpara Bijbehara last evening. Latoo was reportedly next door neighbour of late Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed at Baba Mohalla of Bijbehara. Over 3,000 people participated in his funeral prayers before burial at Bijbehara.
J&K Police and the State Government are continuously tightlipped about the number of the people in the last four days of clashes even most of the media outlets, including this newspapers had reported 31 fatal casualties till last midnight. However, SP Kulgam Mohammad Irshad today claimed that Nazir Ahmad of Pombai was alive while as Waseem Masroor of Yaripora had not been knocked down by any security forces vehicle.
Without mentioning the number of the people killed in the clashes in the last four days, a J&K Police spokesman said in a press release: “The situation in Valley remained under control today though some incidents of arson and mob attacks were reported”.
“The stray and intermittent incidents of stone pelting were reported from Tral, Nowdal, Gadbugh, Batnag, Chindrigam, Shopian, Memander, Frisal, Yaripora, Ruhama, Rajpora, Newa Bijbehara, Goriwan, Exchange road Beerwa, Main Chowk Sopore, Warpora, Khanpora bridge, Baramulla, Langate Trehgam, Popchan and Bandipora. Miscreants set ablaze a police guard room at Gadbugh, a minority picket guard room at Batnag, Tral, and a guard room of P/P Ruhama in Pulwama.
“Miscreants lobbed a petrol bomb on CRPF and Police Party deployed at Gachi Mohalla near Cement Bridge Safa Kadal, Srinagar. At Kralpora, Kupwara, a mob attacked the Police Station and set on fire a Police vehicle in which policemen got trapped. While dealing with the incident, one person was injured who later on succumbed to his injuries.
“During stone pelting on Police and CRPF deployment a stone pelter namely Arhan Mir resident of Bijbehara picked up a tear smoke shell, which exploded in his hand due to which he was injured”.
Curfew, imposed by the authorities, continued on the fourth consecutive day in entire Kashmir valley where separatists and militants have called for five-day-long shutdown over the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani. Reports said that at several places, youths defied restrictions and clashed with Police and security forces. Over 300 youths allegedly involved in stone pelting and arson have been detained in the Valley.