‘Protests, clashes in several areas’
Srinagar: Amid complete shutdown across Kashmir, at least six people were injured in clashes that broke out in various parts of the Valley on Friday against the death penalty announced by a West Bengal court to a youth from South Kashmir. While the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chairman Muhammad Yasin Malik termed the verdict as “murder of justice”, the chief of Hurriyat Conference (M) Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was barred to leave his residence to lead a proposed protest rally at Jamia Masjid against the death penalty. The Hurriyat Conference (G) leaders, on the other hand, also staged a protest against the death sentence and demanded its “immediate rollback.”
According to reports, as Mirwaiz tried to leave for Jamia Masjid this afternoon, he was placed under arrest at his Nigeen residence.
Mirwaiz said he was supposed to lead a protest rally against the death penalty to Muzzafar Ahmed Rather of Jogipora, Kulgam, but wasn’t allowed to move out of his residence.
However, the Hurriyat (M) activists staged a demonstration after Friday prayers outside the Jamia Masjid in Nowhatta, terming the death penalty to Rather as “sheer injustice.”
Meanwhile, a complete shutdown was observed across Kashmir on the call of joint resistance leadership against the death penalty to the Kashmiri youth.
Reports said that clashes erupted in Nowhatta area of old Srinagar soon after Friday congregational prayers ended at Jamia Masjid. Amid pro-freedom sloganeering, the protestors hit the streets with stones and bricks while forces retaliated by firing dozens of tear-gas shells. The protests intensified as youth hurled stones at police and paramilitary forces and in the ensuing clashes, six youth including a photojournalist of a wire service sustained injuries.
Reports said some youth hurled a petrol bomb at the forces in which a CRPF man got injured.
Clashes erupted between youth and CRPF at Green Colony near Grid Station at Elahi Bagh on Srinagar outskirts, they said. Locals alleged that forces broke windowpanes of many houses, provoking protests and clashes.
Reports of protests and clashes also poured in from Sopore area of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district.
In Sopore town, amid complete shutdown, clashes between protesting youth and police took place soon after Friday prayers ended. According to reports, a group of youth from Jamia Masjid Sopore tried to march towards Main Chowk, but police deployed in the area prevented them, triggering clashes. Police lobbed scores of teargas shells to disperse the protesters. “The clashes continued for several hours,” witnesses said.
Reports of clashes between youth and police also came in from Palhallan area of Baramulla district. According to reports, a group of youth—soon after Friday prayers—tried to march towards Srinagar-Baramulla highway at Palhallan, but forces didn’t allow them to proceed. The police action triggered clashes in the area which continued till evening, they said. Police lobbed scores of teargas shells and pushed the protesting youth to the interiors of the area where clashes continued for several hours.