Protesters Engage Forces in Pitched Battle at Maisuma


Srinagar: Protests erupted at Maisuma area on Saturday against the continuous detention of a local youth. Witnesses said that life was completely disrupted after a word spread that local youth Ashiq Ahmed has been again booked under Public Safety Act for the consecutive fifth time.

Police had arrested Aashiq Ahmad of Maisuma on charges of allegedly attacking a senior police officer during protest last year. Pertinently, the then Sub Divisional Police Officer (SDPO) Kothibagh, Fahad Tak, was injured when he was hit by a stone on his face during clashes at Maisuma on December 25, 2015.

Following Aashiq’s arrest on 9 January, 2016 last year the area had witnessed violent protests. Again on Saturday scores of youth took to streets and staged protests. The area observed a complete shutdown against demanding release of Ashiq Ahmed. Witnesses told CNS that the protestors fought pitched battle with police and paramilitary forces. Later police swung into action and fired tear smoke canisters to disperse the protestors. However, the protestors offered stiff resistance.

The clashes between government forces and protesting youth affected business in the area. Shopkeepers downed their shutters and vacated from the area while transport did not ply on the road.

A police official said that the arrested youth Ashiq Ahmed is one of the accused in the attack on SDPO Fahad Tak. “37 cases are registered against this youth,” he said.

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