5 Hurt In Clashes Over Friday Prayers

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Srinagar: Violent protests broke out Friday in Rahmoo area of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district after locals hit the streets and protested barring of congregational prayers by the authorities over Covid-19 pandemic.

Defying prohibitory orders imposed in wake of coronavirus pandemic, scores of villagers this afternoon assembled in Rahmoo area and staged a protest over not allowing them to offer prayers, news agency GNS reported. Chanting slogans, the protesters alleged that faithful were not being allowed to pray in mosques while the sale of liquor was allowed in the outside states.

As the protests were going on, a joint team of police and CRPF reached the area and tried to disperse the protesters with batons, reports said.

However, the protesters offered stiff resistance and pelted rocks and stones on the state forces triggering off fierce clashes. The government forces fired pellets after they failed to chase away protesters with tear smoke shells.

The clashes that continued for several hours left at least five people injured. Three of the injured have been identified by locals as Amir Nabi, Sajad Ahmad and Mohammad Anwar.

Amir Nabi, according to locals was removed to Srinagar’s SMHS hospital for treatment.

Meanwhile, stones were also pelted on CRPF vehicles near Murran when they were heading towards Rahmoo village to assist the already deployed in containing the situation, the reports added.

Reports of clashes were also received from Qaimoh area of the neighbouring Kulgam district.

An official told news agency KNO that some miscreants pelted stones on patrolling party of police and CRPF in Ghat village in Qaimoh area who retaliated by firing pellets, resulting in injuries to five persons who were passing by the area at the time of the incident.

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