Internet shutdown, restrictions, clashes mar Eid celebrations in Kashmir

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Kashmir Observer Service

Srinagar – Eid-ul Azha, the Muslim festival marking the sacrifice of Prophet Ibrahim, was today celebrated across Kashmir and Jammu with the community members offering prayers. Men and women of all ages offered special prayer in the morning  in various Eidgahs (prayer grounds). Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed, his predecessor Omar Abdullah, former Union minister Farooq Abdullah joined devotees to offer prayers at Syed Yaqoob Shah Shrine at Sonawar here.

The biggest congregation was held at Eidgah in the old city followed by Hazratbal shrine on the banks of the famous Dal Lake. Similar large congregations were reported from all districts of Kashmir.

Clashes

Meanwhile, parts of Kashmir saw clashes between stone-pelting youth and Indian security forces in which three people, including two journalists, were injured. Clashes were reported from some areas of Srinagar, Anantnag and Baramulla districts.

Geelani, Farooq, Yasin Malik, Sabhir Shah and many other separatist leaders were put under house arrest in view of the apprehension of law and order problem, police said.

In Srinagar, the clashes took place in Eidgah, Rajouri Kadal and some other areas of old city, a police officer said. Soon after Eid prayers, angry youth started pelting stones at police and paramilitary forces in several areas of Srinagar, the officer said.

Security forces used tear smoke shells to disperse the stone pelting youth, the officer said, adding a photojournalist and a video-journalist were injured in the clashes.

During a clash in Sopore in Baramulla, a boy was injured in the leg due to a tear smoke shell, the police officer said, adding his condition is stable.

Shutdown of Internet services 

Internet services were snapped since 5.00 AM this morning. This has caused difficulties to people who wanted to greet their kin and friends in other parts of the country and abroad. “We have been unable to connect with our families in Kashmir due to the internet shutdown” said Majid, a student in Delhi while speaking with Kashmir Observer.

The directive by police to all service providers, on the eve of Eid, came amid fear of communal tensions in the backdrop of a high court order for implementation of an old law that bans slaughter and selling of beef. Some separatist groups had said they would defy the court order.

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