Protests, clashes against Sopore killing

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Srinagar: Clashes and protests erupted in several parts of Kashmir on Friday against the killing of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat activist, Sheikh Altaf who was shot dead by unidentified gunmen in north Kashmir’s Sopore town on Monday.

The protest march in Sopore turned violent after scores of youth attacked police and CRPF personnel with stones at main chowk. Eyewitnesses told CNS soon after Friday prayers, Hurriyat G activists organized a protest march from Jamia Masjid that culminated in main chowk. The march was attended by locals while some youth reportedly amid anti-India slogans waved Pakistani flags.

Carrying placards and banners, the protesters alleged that Sheikh Altaf was killed by Indian security agency and demand that a fair probe should be ordered to expose the killers. ‘Stop target killing’, ‘Stop Killing innocent people’ were the slogans that protesters raised.

Reports said as the protest march was about to culminate, scores of youth hurled stones on security forces resulting in the hours long clashes. Police used tear-smoke shells to disperse the agitated youth.

Altaf Ahmad Shiekh, who was a health department employee by profession, was killed by gunmen at Sopore on Monday.

The call for protest marches was given by Hurriyat hawk Syed Ali Geelani.

A protest march was also taken out in Baramulla district that was led by separatist leader Abdul Samad Inqalabi. The protesters demanded an end to target killings and alleged that pro-freedom people are being targeted for none of their fault.

In south Kashmir’s Anantnag district a protest march was led by Hurriyat G district president Mir Hafizullah. The protesters tried to march towards Lal Chowk, however they were intercepted by the police. The protesters after condemning the Sopore killing dispersed peacefully.

In Pulwama, a peaceful protest march was led by District President Hurriyat G Ghulam Mohiuddin Andrabi who alleged that Tehreek-e-Hurriyat activist Sheikh Altaf was killed by Indian sponsored armed men.    

In Srinagar, scores of separatist leaders assembled at Pratap Park Srinagar and staged a sit-in there. They were carrying placards seeking justice for the victim’s family.

The protesters including Muhammad Yousuf Naqash, Imtiyaz Hyder and others alleged that Sheikh Altaf was killed by Indian agencies and these agencies have started to target selected persons related to Kashmir Freedom Struggle. Police detained all the protestors when they tried to come out from the park.

Youth Taunt Cops With ISIS Flags

Srinagar: Flags of ISIS were reportedly hoisted in at least two places in the Valley on Friday.

According to Press Trust of India, the flags of ISIS and Pakistan were hoisted in capital Srinagar and in Kupwara during post-Friday prayer  protests. The protests were called by Hurriyat (G) leader Syed Ali Geelani against the killing of a pro-freedom activist by unknown gunmen in restive Sopore on Tuesday.

Geelani is bitterly opposed to ISIS ideology and has issued several statements denouncing groups brutal actions as un-Islamic.

A group of young men, carrying a black banner resembling ISIS flag and their faces covered, marched from Jamia Masjid towards Nowhatta Chowk after the Friday prayers, PTI reported quoting official sources. It said that Pakistani flags were also waved in the area, but police soon chased the protesters away.

Meanwhile, similar protests were also reported in Kupwara district where Pakistani flags were hoisted at some locations after the Friday prayers.

Protests were also reported from Sopore town and other areas of Baramulla district, leading to clashes with security forces. However, no casualty was reported in the clashes.

Police has not made any attempt so far to nab youth who hoisted ISIS flags.

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