Clashes Erupt in Parts of Old City


SRINAGAR:  Hundreds of supporters of Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Friday staged protests and clashed with riot police after congregational prayers outside Jamia Masjid and its adjoining areas in the Old City here. They were protesting against house-detention of Mirwaiz.

The clashes left seven people including a Sub-Divisional Police Officer (SDPO) injured.

Mirwaiz was placed under house detention by authorities following his proposed March to Eidgah on May 21 to commemorate the slaying anniversaries of his father Mirwaiz Maulana Muhammad Farooq  and senior Hurriyat leader Abdul Gani Lone.

Angered at the restrictions on their leader, hundreds of Mirwaiz’s supporters assembled in the compound of historic Jamia Masjid and staged pro-freedom, pro-Pakistan and anti-India slogans.

The protesters, who were carrying the flags of militant outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Pakistan, tried to proceed towards Nowhatta Chowk but were intercepted by police and paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). The forces fired dozens of teargas shells towards the demonstrators who responded by pelting stones and bricks triggering violent clashes.

Within no time, the clashes between forces and protesters spread to Gojwara, Rajouri Kadal and other adjoining areas of the Jamia Masjid prompting shopkeepers to down their shutters.

A police official said that seven people were injured during clashes. He said the SDPO Khanyar along with two cops and four youth were injured. 

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