Protests erupt in Nowhatta

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Srinagar: CRPF troops and police on Friday used batons and fired teargas canisters to disperse an anti-India rally in the Old city here as Hafta-e-Shohada (the week of martyrs begins today).

Witnesses said that scores of youth emerged from the historic Jamia Masjid, Nowhatta after the Friday prayers and staged pro-freedom and anti-India demonstrations. The protesters burnt Indian flags before marching towards the main square where CRPF and policemen were already deployed in strength.

The protesters pelted stones on the forces when batons were used to disperse them. To contain the stone throwing youth forces burst teargas canisters”, Shahid Rashid, a witness said.

He said that clashes soon spread to other localities of the old city including Gojwara, Rajouri Kadal and Kawdara. The clashes also prompted the traders to down their shutters. The movement of public transport was also hit as youth fought pitched battles with the forces.

However, no reports of injury to any one were received when the last reports came in.

The clashes occurred on the first day of weeklong Hafta-e-Shohada (the week of martyrs) that is observed by Hurriyat conference (M) to pay tributes to Mirwaiz Mohammad Farooq and Abdul Gani Lone, who were assassinated by unknown gunmen. 

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