Normal life disrupted in Shopian, Bandiapora protests

Normal life was disrupted in Shopian and Bandipora towns of Kashmir Valley today as people staged demonstrations against the alleged highhandedness of police, officials said.

Srinagar: Normal life was disrupted in
Shopian and Bandipora towns of Kashmir Valley today as people
staged demonstrations against the alleged highhandedness of
police, officials said.

Hundreds of people took to streets in Shopian, 55 kms
from here, in south Kashmir to protest the arrest of over a
dozen local youth by police on the charges of stone-pelting,
officials said.

They said the protesters, who were demanding immediate
release of the arrested youth, called for an immediate end to
the crackdown and threatened to intensify the agitation, if
their demand was not met.

All shops, business establishments and private
offices in the town and adjoining areas remained closed and
transport went off the roads, the sources said.

Protesters also alleged that the security forces are
harassing the residents during night raids and have even
arrested their kin, whom police claimed were involved in
stone-pelting, officials said.

Shops and business establishments also remained closed
in north Kashmir`s Bandipora town, 55 kms from here, in
protest against the killing of a local militant Zahoor Ahmad
Hajam.

Hajam was killed alongwith two other militants in a
gunbattle with police at Qammerwari area of Srinagar on
Monday.

However, the residents of Bandipora alleged that the
deceased was not affiliated with any militant outfit and he
alongwith two others were killed in a "fake encounter".

Putting all speculations about the genuineness of the
encounter at rest, Police yesterday said the trio were members
of a Jaish-e-Mohammad (JEM) module and were eliminated in an
encounter in which a policeman was also killed.

-PTI