Kashmir Protests Widen: Fresh Clashes Erupt in Ganderbal
Fresh clashes has been broke out between protesters and police on Saturday in Ganderbal district of Jammu and Kashmir. Trouble started in Handwara which is located 75 km from Srinagar after a local girl alleged that a security person molested her. The security persons resorted to indiscriminate firing when people started protesting against them after the allegation. Handwara is observing a total shutdown as the area witnessed a tensed calm with the security still beefed up and restrictions still imposed.
Since the incident on Tuesday, five persons have died in the protests that are spreading across Kashmir. On Tuesday, three persons, including a young cricketer and an old woman had died in Handwara. In Kupwara, where a boy died and seven people were injured on Friday as security forces opened fire on a crowd of stone-pelting protesters.
Growing unrest in the valley forced the state government to request the Centre for additional forces.
The central government has decided to send more troopers to Jammu and Kashmir to bring the situation – on the boil for four days – under control.
Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi on Saturday in a meeting of senior officials from intelligence bureau, ministry of defence, Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) and the ministry of home affairs reviewed the situation and assessed the requirements of Jammu and Kashmir government to bring the situation under control without any more loss of life.
“The central government is concerned over the loss of human lives in J&K during the last four days. It was decided to send additional Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) to strengthen the security grid in the Kashmir Valley,” a home ministry statement said.
Stating that the ministry is in regular touch with senior state government officials and has been monitoring the situation on a regular basis, the statement said that the ministry has assured “full cooperation and support to the government of J&K to ensure that there is no further loss of lives”.
Meanwhile, mother of the schoolgirl has said the girl and her father has been illegally detained by the police. NDTV reported that the girl’s statement to the police, pointing to misbehavior by a local boy, was given under pressure.
“After school, she came out with other girls and went to the washroom in the market. When she went in an army jawan emerged… She screamed. The boys who were there could not tolerate the screams of their sister. A crowd assembled. The police and army opened fire,” her mother told NDTV.