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TRAL — Locals from different hamlets of south Kashmir’s Tral town staged a protest against the arrest spree in the area. The protest turned violent when youth resorted to stone pelting while government forces responded with firing tear-smoke shells.

Eyewitnesses said that a large number of people from different villages of Tral including Naher, Khasipora, Nazneenpora, Pinglish, Laru and other areas assembled at main town Tral and raised pro-freedom slogans. The protesters demanded release of dozens of persons who according to them were picked up by police.

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Locals said that the forces have created a reign of terror in Tral, arresting people randomly and shifting them to outside Kashmir jails under draconian Public Safety Act.

The protesters said that most of the people arrested are innocent while majority of them are teenagers. Amid sloganeering, they demanded immediate release of the arrested people.

The protesters said that from the past couple of days, at least 20 persons have been arrested. They identified some of the arrested persons as Nisar Sheikh (34), Waseem Malla (25), Aabid Mir (25), Wakeel Shah (19), Umer Dar (17), Sajad Sheikh (25), Owais Khan (22), Rafiq Naik (35), Saqib Mir (19), Amir Wani (14), Farooz Wani (18), Majed Wani (21), Rayees Wani (20), Sharik Mir (26), Mahaindi Sheikh (15), Danish Mir (16), Adil Bhat (23), Muhammad Chopan (55), Tawseef Chopan (21) and Yawer Wani (18).

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