Geelani Responds to PDP: "Daughters Do Not Imprison Their Fathers"
SRINAGAR: Protests erupted in parts of Kashmir valley on Monday after authorities lifted curfew on the 52nd day since a civil uprising broke out against the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani.
A senior police officer said there will be no curfew in most parts of the valley, except Pulwama and some areas of Srinagar city after the situation showed "visible signs of improvement" over the last four days.
"Curfew has been lifted from all areas of Kashmir with few exceptions. However, security forces have been deployed in strength to prevent any law and order problems," the officer said, adding that additional CRPF and J&K Police personnel are on a stand-by to deal with any eventuality.
Protests however broke out in parts of the valley including the capital Srinagar, Bandipora, Pulwama where agitated youths, shouting anti-India and pro-freedom slogans, clashes with the forces who fired teargas and pellets to disperse the protesters.
There are no reports of any injury so far, the officer said.
Witnesses and police sources said protesters belonging to Hurriyat have blocked roads at multiple places in all the ten districts of the valley where commuters are turned away, affecting the attendance in government offices and preventing the restoration of normalcy.
Chief minister Mehbooba Mufti's Peoples Democratic Party has appealed the veteran Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Geelani to "give her a chance" in restoring normalcy and starting a political dialogue with New Delhi, saying that the chief minister was "like his daughter."
Asking the chief minister to quit mainstream and join the ongoing uprising, the Hurriyat patriarch, however, snapped back at the CM, saying that daughters don't "imprison their father" and "unleash a reign of terror" on the protesters.
Meanwhile, the number of protesters injured in pellet firing continues to mount in the alley with more than 60 people, including women, sustaining pellet injuries in South Kashmir and Central Kashmir areas on Sunday where security personnel used force to foil pro-freedom and anti-India rallies, police and witnesses said.
Although the union home minister recently announced that the alternative to pellet guns was on its way, doctors at SMHS Hospital, where most of the severely injured in pellet firing, are admitted, said they are working in a 'war like situation'.
"More than 8000 civilian protesters have been injured in the ongoing situation with nearly 600 protesters suffering pellet injuries in their eyes. A team of doctors comes periodically from New Delhi to carry out surgeries on them," a senior officer in the health department said.
(Photographs of Srinagar after the curfew was lifted by Basit Zargar)