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Protesters run for cover amid smoke of teargas as police use tear gas to disperse them during clashes on the fifth death anniversary of Afzal Guru, in Srinagar. Image: Basit Zargar

SRINAGAR: Life remained paralysed, today, due to the complete shutdown on the fifth hanging anniversary of Muhammad Afzal Guru, while in several area of valley clashes were reported and several youth have been injured in police pellet firing.

Call for the shutdown was given by the Joint Resistance Leadership comprising (JRL) Syed Ali Gilani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik. All shops, business establishments and educational institutions remained closed while traffic was off the road.

India had executed Muhammad Afzal Guru in Tihar jail on this day in 2013 and another prominent Kashmiri leader, Muhammad Maqbool Butt in the same jail on 11th February in 1984. The bodies of the two martyrs remain buried in the premises of the jail.

The JRL had also called for peaceful protests after Friday prayers to press the demand for the return of the mortal remains of Muhammad Maqbool Butt and Muhammad Afzal Guru from Delhi’s Tihar jail to occupied Kashmir for decent burial. However, the puppet authorities had imposed restrictions in Srinagar and some areas of north Kashmir including Sopore deploying Indian troops and police personnel in strength across the Kashmir Valley. Almost all Hurriyat leaders were kept under house arrest or in detention.

The historic Jamia Msjid in Srinagar was sealed and Juma prayers were not allowed at the historic mosque while train service was suspended. The actions were aimed at preventing the people from staging anti-India demonstrations.

Meanwhile, despite severe restrictions, hundreds of people including Hurriyat leaders visited the ancestral house of Muhammad Afzal Guru at Doabgah in Sopore and participated in a condolence reference.

In Shopian, a youth was injured during clashes between protesters and government forces in Memander village of the district. witnesses said that clashes erupted on Friday evening between youth and forces. While the protesters hurled rocks, the forces responded by firing tear smoke shells and pellets, resulting in pellet injury to one person and minor injuries to nearly six persons.

The pellet hit injured was rushed to SDH Shopian where from he was referred to SMHS Srinagar for advanced treatment, an official said.

In Sopore, clashes erupted in Sopore town on Friday after youth defied restrictions and staged protests on the fifth hanging anniversary of Afzal Guru.

Reports said that youth took to streets after Friday prayers and staged protests outside Jamia Masjid Sopore, despite curfew-like restrictions imposed by the authorities.

Forces deployed in strength in the area fired tear gas to disperse the protesters who were pelting them with stones at main chowk and main bazaar areas of town, triggering clashes.
Guru, a resident of Jageer Ghat village of Sopore, was secretly hanged and buried inside New Delhi’s Tihar jail on this day in 2013.

Earlier, scores of pro-freedom leaders reached at the residence of Guru and staged protests to demand his mortal remains.

In Budagm, Clashes brokeout between Govt forces and Protester’s in Manchowa Nowgam Railway track after Friday prayers, A youth was injured during forces action, he recieved severe pellet injuries on his face and for treatment he reffered to Sub District hospital Chadoora and from there he was reffered to SMSHS hospital srinagar for further treatment.

The youth was later identified as a 16 year old boy Aamir majid
resident of Kanihama Budgam, The injured youth recieved severe injuries on his Right eye.

(Agencies)

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