Authorities in Jammu and Kashmir reimposed restrictions on movement in parts of Srinagar on Sunday following violent protests between security forces and local people the previous night. At least 17 people were taken to the hospital with pellet-gun injuries, senior government officials told Reuters.
While the state government claims that no curfew is in place, local people were reportedly turned back from roadblocks at various points in the city on Sunday. Incidents of stone pelting have reportedly increased in the Valley in the past few days. There have been reports of stone pelting from at least two dozen places across Srinagar, said an unidentified official.
Government spokesperson Rohit Kansal had said on Saturday morning that restrictions had been relaxed in areas under the jurisdiction of 35 police stations in the Valley, according to PTI. In the evening, he said eight people were injured in protests that broke out in six places.
Overnight clashes occurred in Rainawari, Nowhatta, Soura and Gojwara, according to Reuters. Security personnel fired tear-gas shells and pellet guns, and threw chili grenades to tackle the crowd, said unidentified officials and eyewitnesses.
Twelve of the protestors who suffered pellet-gun injuries were discharged soon after being admitted to hospital, and five were being treated for serious injuries. A 65-year-old man, identified as Mohammad Ayub, from Braripora in Shopian district died after being admitted with breathing difficulties due to the tear-gas shells and grenades, Reuters reported.
Mobile internet services were snapped in five districts of Jammu on Sunday morning, a day after being restored. Officials said the decision was taken to curb the spread of rumours and maintain peace, PTI reported.
On Saturday, authorities in Kashmir had restored services to over 50,000 landline phones in 17 telephone exchanges in the region while 2G mobile internet services were restored in five of the 10 districts of Jammu region.
Governor Satya Pal Malik’s Advisor K Vijay Kumar said communication lines would be resumed as soon as possible. “Because we have to maintain law and order, as an essential preventive measure we had to reduce the communication channels so that it were not put to misuse,” ANI quoted him as saying.
Kumar added that authorities were making sure that local people were being apprised of the situation. “If the man on the street who is staying inside the house is not aware what is the intention of the govt then he is in a state of confused mind,” he said.
Meanwhile, Hajj pilgrims returned to Kashmir from Saudi Arabia on Sunday morning. Arrangements were made for them to reach their destination. “Only one family member is allowed at the airport to receive the Hajis,” PTI quoted unidentified officials as saying. “A fleet of the State Road Transport Corporation buses has been deployed to facilitate the movement of Hajis and their relatives with the coordination of all district administrations.”
All communication lines were initially snapped in Jammu and Kashmir on August 5 as the central government revoked the state’s special status and split the state into two Union territories.