SRINAGAR: Indian troops have cracked down on pro-liberation leaders and launched a manhunt throughout occupied Kashmir valley to nab the stone pelters. Senior Tehreek-e-Hurriyat leader Tariq Maulvi was arrested while police raided the house of another resistance leader Yousuf Mujahid. However, Mujahid expecting a raid had already gone into hiding.
Police, paramilitary CRPF troopers and army have already arrested prominent pro-resistance leaders including Hurriyat (G) Chairman Syed Ali Geelani, Hurriyat (M) Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front Chairman Muhammad Yasin Malik, Islamic Students League chief Shakeel Bakshi, Tehreek-e-Hurriyat leader Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai and Duktaraa-e-Millat (Daughters of Faith) Chairperson Asiya Andrabi besides more than 100 activists of pro-resistance parties since Sunday.
Police and troopers have also launched a manhunt to nab the youth who were part of the protests since the first massive public uprising in June and according to reports over 200 youth have been arrested in the Valley since Sunday. Some of the arrested youth were later released. The police and troopers are particularly on a look out for the stone pelting youth and with the help of their intelligence are carrying raids in different areas of the Valley, particularly the old city areas of Nawa Kadal, Habba Kadal, Safa Kadal, Saraf Kadal, Wattal Kadal, Bohri Kadal, Rajouri Kadal, Rainawari, Nowhatta Khanyar, Mughal Mohalla and Kralyaar.
During this week police rounded up dozens of the youth in Srinagar city alone. Inspector General of Police, Kashmir, Shiv Murari Sahai told Rising Kashmir that Police rounded up a large number of youth in Srinagar since Sunday. “I don’t’ have the actual number but many of the youth involved in stone pelting battles with police have been arrested,” he said. “Many of them have been released. It depends on the gravity of their involvement.”
Around 55 youth have been arrested in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district since Sunday. Forty 40 persons were arrested in Baramulla during the nocturnal raids by Special Operations Group of Police and Army on Monday. Locals said that the SOG and Army personnel forcibly entered into their houses during the night, beat inmates and arrested the men. “It seemed that police and troopers are not able to come to the grip of things since the successful rallies called by the Jammu Kashmir Coordination Committee. Now they are attacking every Kashmiri because they know everyone participated in these rallies,” said Muhammad Naseem, a resident of Baramulla town. Fifteen more youth were arrested in Baramulla since then taking the number of the arrested in this north Kashmir district to 55.
Police today arrested the father-son duo of Baramulla allegedly for being involved in setting the Sheeri Police Station afire on August 11, the day lakhs of people marched towards Muzaffarad but were stopped after police and troopers opened fire at the peaceful procession. Senior Hurriyat leader Sheikh Abdul Aziz was killed in the firing following which the angry protestors set the Sheeri police station afire and attacked the Station House Officer (SHO) Khursheed Khan.
Over 40 persons were also arrested in south Kashmir’s Islamabad district since Sunday. The RR troopers forcibly entered into the houses of the locals and arrested over 40 youth, residents said.“Besides, they also roughed up the inmates including the womenfolk,” locals said. Earlier, Monday night the residents of Islamabad attacked an Army camp in Kaniwan, 8 km from Bijbehara after the army arrested six youth of the area. Following the attack on the camp the army set all six youth free.
Meanwhile, the troopers of the Banderbagh camp of the army at Khirhama, Bijbehara today forced the activists of the Jamaat Islamia to attend the camp and threatened them not to participate in any rally after Friday prayers. The Jamaat activists of the area told Rising Kashmir that the troopers threatened them that if people of the area will bring out a rally after Friday prayers, they would be taken to task.
The protestors in Islamabad had attacked the Banderbagh camp when Rashtriya Rifles troopers arrested six local youth. However, all the six youth were released after the camp was attacked.
Many minors have also been arrested in South Kashmir. SSP Islamabad Nitish Kumar confirmed the arrest of the minors but added that all of them would be released.
On why the minors were held although the State doesn’t have any juvenile court, Kumar said: “We detained them only for counseling. All of them will be set free. We don’t want these youth to indulge in stone pelting with the police.” About the minors who had not been released so far, Kumar said, “There are some serious cases and in such cases, the law will take its own course.”
The troopers of Bandepora camp also arrested most drivers of south Kashmir and kept them in the camp. Shabir Ahmed Rather, a minibus driver in south Kashmir said they were arrested on Tuesday and set free Wednesday morning but were asked to report to the camp everyday. “Now the troopers are taking our vehicles and using our services as drivers without paying us,” he said.
Meanwhile, a contingent of paramilitary CRPF troopers visited the Rainwari, Mughal Mohalla and Kralyaar areas and beat many youth there. “The troopers told us that they had identified all the youth who had pelted stones at them during the public uprising and threatened to deal us sternly,” said Sajad Ahmed, a resident of Rainawari. Zahoor Ahmed Hajam son of Ghulam Qadir Hajam was arrested in Bandipora while he was distributing vegetables among the needy.-SANA