Nocturnal protests give sleepless night in south Kashmir

Anantnag, July 26: Nocturnal protests broke out in parts of south Kashmir on Monday night as thousands of angry men and women rallied against civilian killings by security forces during the current unrest in the valley.

Witnesses and officials said the fresh protests in Anantnag town, some 50 km from Srinagar, began in the dead of the night when people in large numbers came out of their houses and marched on the streets.

Police and security forces had earlier moved back to their camps after they successfully foiled a separatist-called march to the Anantnag town square where they had planned to address a gathering during the day.

People during the day had gathered in the town in large numbers but were chased away by police and paramilitary troopers.

Officials said that some during the nocturnal march set afire a state irrigation building that lies on the Hindu pilgrim route to the Amarnath cave shrine. The protests continued till early Tuesday morning.

Protests were also held in the nearby Achabal town where thousands of people surrounded a police station against the alleged arrest and beating up of four youths, including three teens.

The youngest arrested is said to be 13 years old. Protesters alleged that the youths were arrested for throwing stones

They said police and paramilitary troopers brutally beat up the arrested youth. They were then denied medical assistance and continue to be with police, the protesters alleged.

Cries of “Azadi, Azadi” rang out in Achabal, known for its Mughal Garden and its springs, as the crowd, with women leading the protesters, marched on the streets.

Mosque loudspeakers asking people to come out on the streets fuelled the public anger.

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