Pro-Palestine Demos: Mural Artist,16 Others Set Free After ‘Counselling’

Ajaz Ali

Srinagar: Police on Sunday released 17 youth, including an artist who had drawn graffiti on a platform showing a sobbing woman with her head covered with Palestine’s flag, two days after being arrested over pro-Palestine protests in several parts of the Valley against the Israeli aggression in Gaza strip.

In a statement issued to media here on Sunday, a police spokesperson said that after counselling, 17 boys were handed over to their families by police in its endeavour to strengthen the bond between police and public and to “bring teenagers back into the mainstream”.

“SSP Srinagar Sandeep Chaudhary-IPS today held counselling cum interaction meeting with the family members of misguided youth,” he said, adding that SP South, Sajjad Shah and SP North Srinagar Mubashir Bukhari and other officers of the Srinagar district were also present on the occasion.

The police spokesperson said that during the counselling, family members of the boys were advised to take proper care of their wards and keep a watch upon their activities, actions and behaviour.

“The youth were properly counselled and advised to focus on their studies, professional work and utilize their energy in positive direction,” he said.

“The family members and the youth duly appreciated this endeavour and acknowledged their role of responsible citizens. The parents assured that they will guide their children towards positive direction so that they could not get engaged in such activities which can lead to spread of infection,” he added.

The police spokesperson further said that the youth were arrested for participating in protests in violation of Section 51 of DM Act during Corona Curfew.

Meanwhile, a senior police officer told Kashmir Observer on Sunday that 30-year-old Mudasir Gul, a professional artist was among the youth released on Sunday.

Gul, a resident of Padshahi Bagh locality of this capital city was arrested on Friday night for drawing graffiti on a platform showing a sobbing woman with her head covered with Palestine flag. He had also written “WE ARE PALESTINE” next to the image of the woman. The graffiti had gone viral on the social media networking websites including Facebook and Twitter.

On Friday, sporadic pro-Palestine demonstrations were reported from parts of the Valley despite government imposed curfew to contain coronavirus spread in the Union Territory. At many places, the protesters set Israeli flags ablaze to vent out their anger against the airstrikes in Gaza that have left nearly 188 Palestinians, including 55 children and 33 women, with 1,230 people wounded. Eight people in Israel have been killed, including a 5-year-old boy and a soldier.

Following the protests, the police had detained as many as 21 youth during a series of raids.

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