PDP legislator injured by protesting mob; newspaper ban in J&K

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Photo credit: Faisal Khan
Photo credit: Faisal Khan

PDP MLA from Pulwama Mohammad Khalil Bandh, who was proceeding to Srinagar,  was injured after a mob pelted stones on his vehicle following which it keeled over. The MLA was injured and admitted to an army hospital.

The police and People’s Democratic Party (PDP), however, refused to say if Bandh was injured in a mob attack. This is the first attack in which a PDP MLA has been injured since the unrest began on July 8.

According to DNA, SP, Pulwama, Rayees Mohommad Bhat said the MLA’s vehicle had lost balance and “he was slightly injured. But there was no mob attack.”

“I have heard that there was a road mishap,” said Waheed-ur-Rehman Para, PDP youth president.

In another incident, a mob attacked an army hospital in Kupwara district. The home of a PDP activist was set on fire after Hizbul Mumajideen commander Burhan Wani’s killing. Several government buildings were also gutted and a businessman’s apple orchard.

Curfew remained imposed in all 10 districts of the Valley as a precautionary measure for the 11th consecutive day. More than 3,200 people, including security personnel, have been injured. Except BSNL, mobile telephony and internet remained suspended in J&K. Only state-run BSNL fixed lines are operational.

While this was so, Hurriyat Conference (hardline) hawk Syed Ali Shah Geelani has composed letters to UN, five veto powers, European Union, SAARC and ASEAN. He has set six conditions for restoration of peace in J&K. These include rapid demilitarisation of J&K, accepting the disputed nature of the state and repealing laws such as AFSPA and Public Safety Act.

J&K on July 17 woke up to a morning sans newspapers after Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti officially banned publication of several English and Urdu dailies to block information. Digital editions were available on their websites, but due to the internet blockade, the traffic was less.

Meanwhile, various southern organisations released a joint statement demanding the government to restore peace in J&K.