City Shuts Down Against ‘Desecration’ of Jamia

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SRINAGAR:  Srinagar on Saturday observed a general strike in protest against the alleged desecration of the city’s Grand Mosque by police on Friday.

Sporadic clashes were also witnessed in the strike hit vicinity of the historic mosque. Several people were reportedly injured during the clashes between police and agitated protesters.

The strike call was issued by Jamia Auqaf and it was endorced by almost all major separatist groups.

Auqaf accused police of firing tear gas shells inside mosque where a large number of people both, men and women, were busy in prayers.

Normal life was disrupted in the city with shops, business establishments, educational institutions closed  with skeletal public transport on the roads. 

Police and paramilitary forces had been deployed in strength across the city to thwart any anti-government protests. Despite the deployment, violent protests broke out in several localities of Srinagar city including Maisuma, Rajouri Kadal, Nowhatta and Habbakadal.

Several persons including three police personnel were injured during violent clashes in Maisuma locality. Youth resorted to massive stone-pelting while police fired some tear-smoke shells to disperse them. Three police personnel who suffered head, nose and leg injuries during these clashes were identified as Bansi Lal, Muhammad Akbar and Makhan Lal.

Police resorted to aerial firing to disperse the angry protesters protesting against the alleged desecration of Jamia Masjid in Nauhatta.

The youth pelted stones on government forces who responded with aerial firing and tear smoke shelling. People alleged that forces thrashed several elderly men and women during the protests after barging into their houses in Rajouri Kadal. 

Reports said that no prayers were offered in Grand Mosque in the wake of heavy deployment of government forces, stone-pelting and shutdown.

Mirwaiz Umar Farooq who was scheduled to lead protest March against the ‘desecration’ of Jamia Masjid by government forces was put under house arrest on Friday evening.  

Police again use pellet guns 

Srinagar: One person was injured after police fired pellet guns on demonstrators, protesting against alleged desecration of Jamia Masjid in Nowhatta area of the city on Saturday.

A youth identified as Sahil Ahmad son of Zahoor Ahmad of Nowhatta was injured after cops fired pellet guns to disperse the protestors.

“He received pellets all over his body and was shifted to SMHS,” an eyewitness said.

Recently a youth from Palhallan in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district was seriously injured when police pierced his face with pellets at Palhallan following which calls for ban on the use of gun became shriller from across the political spectrum.

Pertinently, State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) has observed that law enforcing agencies were bound to strictly follow Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) and adhere to the use of non-lethal methods of mob control in order to prevent casualties.

“It must be the endeavor of law enforcing agencies to use minimum force, which will not cause any casualties or serious injuries,” the Commission said. (GNS)

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