Protests, Clashes After Friday Prayers


Srinagar: Sporadic protests were reported from different parts of Kashmir Valley against the use of force on the students after Friday prayers.  Call for protests was given by ‘Joint Resistance Leadership’.

Large contingent of police and para-military Central Reserve Police Force personnel were deployed in restive areas to contain protests.

Authorities again barred MIrwaiz Umar Farooq, Syed Ali Geelani and other separatist leaders from offering Friday prayers.

In Srinagar, clashes erupted at trouble-spots of Maisuma and Nowhatta after Friday congregational prayers. Reports said that a large number of youth, soon after Friday prayers, hit the roads in Maisuma and clashed with Government Forces. Agitated protesters amid pro-freedom slogans pelted stones while Forces fired tear-smoke shells to disperse them. Clashes disrupted life in the locality for hours.

Earlier, a peaceful protest was staged by Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front activists in Maisuma. Protesters carrying placards and banners seeking an end to assault on students, halt to civilian killings and immediate resolution to Kashmir issue appealed international community to take note of the human rights violations taking place in Kashmir Valley.

Meanwhile Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front in a statement said that its leaders and activists along with hundreds of people today gathered at Madeena chowk and marched towards Budshah chowk Lal Chowk to protest against oppression unleashed on students of Kashmir.

Clashes also erupted at Nowhatta where scores of youth engaged government forces for hours. Eyewitnesses said that a large number of youth assembled near Rajouri Kadal and attacked deployed forces with stones who retaliated with tear-smoke shelling.

Earlier Hurriyat (M) held separate solidarity marches for students in Kashmir who faced forces’ action during protests against last week’s police crackdown on Degree College Pulwama.

Scores of leaders and activists of Hurriyat (M) assembled outside the Jamia Masjid in Nowhatta and staged a demonstration. The protesters were calling for an “end to violence on youth” and use of force on students.

Government Forces resorted to teargas shelling after a large number of youth pelted stones on them at Muran Chowk in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district. Witnesses said that protesting youth targeted police and CRPF vehicles with stones while in retaliation Forces fired tear-smoke shells. The clashes forced shopkeepers to down their shutters while normal life was affected for quite some time.

Clashes erupted at Khudwani Kulgam in South Kashmir after Government Forces stopped the march of people. The youth stoned deployed Forces personnel while tear-smoke shells were used to disperse the protesters.

Reports said that clashes erupted between protesters and police after Friday congregation prayers at Jamia Masjid area of the Sopore town. After Friday prayers youth assembled near Jamia Masjid area and started shouting pro-freedom and Pro-Azadi slogans. Government Forces restored to teargas shelling to disperse protesters. The clashes continued for hours, disrupting normal life in the town.

Reports from Sumbal town in North Kashmir’s Bandipora district said that students took out a protesting march against the use of force and detention of students across Valley. Witnesses said that as the students marched on roads, sensing trouble, shopkeepers downed their shutters while vehicular movement stopped on the roads. Reports said that students of Middle school Sumbal also held a similar protest rally through Sumbal market. Students of several Middle schools also held protest rallies in Ajas main chowk and blocked the Bandipora-Srinagar road. Similar protest rallies were held by the students of Aloosa High school.

The students of High School Bagh in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district took out a protest rally on Friday, triggering shutdown in the main town.

Witnesses said that scores of students marched through main market Bandipora shouting anti-government and pro-freedom slogans. The students were protesting against a crackdown on the students of GDC Pulwama last week.

As the students carried out the protest rally, shopkeepers downed their shutters, thereby triggering a shutdown. Thin movement of private vehicle was witnessed in the area.

Reports further said that clashes erupted between protesting youth and deployed Forces shortly after Friday congregational prayers at Hajin town of Bandipora. Government Forces fired tear-smoke shells to disperse the agitated youth. ——With inputs from CNS


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