SRINAGAR: Protest rallies were taken out Friday in all ten districts of the Kashmir Valley against the ongoing Israeli aggression in Gaza, and at least 14 people were injured in the violent clashes.
Thousands of people took out a rally from historic Jamia Masjid in downtown Srinagar immediately after the Friday prayers. Shouting pro-Palestine and anti-Israel slogans, the people marched towards the main square Nowhatta.
Some youth were holding flags of Palestine and ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria), and chanted pro-Islam, pro-Palestine and pro-militant slogans, reports said.
Soon after the rally, Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq led a sit-in inside the premises of Jamia Masjid and expressed solidarity with the people of Palestine.
Addressing the people, Mirwaiz said the Kashmir people have time and again expressed solidarity with the oppressed people of Palestine. As Mirwaiz was addressing the people, scores of youths clashed with police and paramilitary CRPF troopers outside Nowhatta police station.
The police used teargas and pepper grenades to disperse the protesters. However, the youths resisted police action and continued stone-pelting, reports said. The clashes continued till late evening.
In city centre Lal Chowk, hundreds of students held a protest rally against Israeli aggression over Gaza.
Soon after Friday prayers, hundreds of people took out a rally from city centre mosques and assembled near Clock Tower. The protesters chanted anti-Israel and anti-US slogans and expressed their solidarity with oppressed Palestinians. The rally concluded peacefully, reports said.
Scores of youth also took out a bike rally in support of Palestinians from downtown and marched through Lal Chowk.
The University of Kashmir reverberated with anti-Israel and anti-India slogans. “Police chased the protesting students several times in the campus but they kept regrouping and protesting,” eyewitnesses told Kashmir Reader.
In Sarai Bala area of uptown city, hundreds of people took out a protest rally from Masjid Iqra in solidarity with Palestine. The protesters marched upto Jehangir Chowk and dispersed peacefully, reports said.
Hundreds of people in Hyderpora area of the city also took to streets and held anti-Israel protests. The protesters condemned the Israeli action against Palestinians in Gaza and expressed their solidarity with Palestinians. The protesters in Umarabad locality of Peerbagh also clashed with CRPF troopers after Friday prayers.
Hundreds of people in central Kashmir’s Ganderbal took to streets and staged anti-Israel protests. Soon after protests, the protesters clashed with government forces during which police used tearsmoke shells and pepper grenades.
The JKLF chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik addressed thousands of people in Ganderbal. He urged people to take lessons from Palestine and refrain from selling land to Indian forces, state and army, according to a JKLF spokesman.
People in neighbouring Kangan town also took to streets and staged anti-Israel protests. The protesters clashed with government forces while police lobbed teargas shells to disperse them, reports said. Two people sustained injuries during clashes in Kulan, Kangan.
In Sopore town of Baramulla district, at least three people, including a woman sustained injuries during violent clashes.
Reports said that hundreds of people took out an anti-Israel rally from Jamia Masjid Sopore and staged massive protests. The protesters were chanting pro-Islam and pro-Palestine slogans. The protesters also raised slogans in favor of Kashmir’s freedom.
As the protest rally concluded, hundreds of youth attacked the bunker of 179 battalion CRPF in Main Chowk, reports said, adding during clashes two people identified as Nissar Ahmad and Riyaz Ahmad were hit by stones. The clashes later spread to Baba Yousuf, Sangrampora, Batapora, Jamia Masjid and other localities of the town.
A woman identified as Hasina was hit by a stone in the head when youth attacked the vehicles of police and CRPF at Amargarh. The lady was shifted to nearby hospital where her condition is said to be stable.
The anti-Israel protests also broke out in Highgam Sopore and Sangrama. The youths at both the places clashed with forces. A civilian was beaten to pulp by CRPF personal in Main Chowk Sopore, reports said.
In Baramulla town, hundreds of people took out an anti-Israel rally after Friday prayers. The protesters were shouting pro-Palestine and anti-Israel slogans. Though the rally concluded peacefully but groups of youth resorted to stone-pelting. They were chased away by police, reports said.
In volatile Palhallan, hundreds of people staged anti-Israel protests. The protesters later clashed with police and paramilitary forces.
In Bandipora district, hundreds of people held pro-Palestine and anti-Israel protests at several places. The protesters also clashed with police and paramilitary in which five persons including two policemen sustained injuries.
People also took to streets at Main Town, Papchan, Hajin, Naidkhai, Watapora, Ashtangoo and Nowgam areas of Bandipora. In Main town, dozens of youth clashed with police and CRPF near State Bank of India. Due to clashes, the shopkeepers downed their shutters and a shutdown was observed in the area.
The anti-Israel protests also broke out in border district of Kupwara.
In south Kashmir’s Anantnag district, thousands of people held anti-Israel protests.
Reports said hundreds of people from various mosques of the town gathered at Sherbagh and staged protests. The protesters expressed their solidarity with oppressed Palestinians in Gaza. They called for the freedom of Palestine. Soon after protests, hundreds of people clashed with policemen after which police used teargas and pepper grenades to disperse them.
Some youth , reportedly thrashed a police cop during clashes. The clashes later spread to Cheeni Chowk and other localities of the town.
In Wanpoh area of Kulgam district, a youth was injured after paramilitary forces opened fire to disperse the anti-Israel protesters. The youth identified as Aamir Ahmad Parray was hit in chest and he was immediately rushed to nearby hospital and later to SKIMS Soura. Another youth identified as Sajad was hit by a teargas shell in his leg. Clashes erupted in Qaimoh area of the district.
Hundreds of people in Pulwama town held anti-Israel protests. In Tral town, people took to streets and staged anti-Israel, anti-India and pro-Palestine protests. The protesters later clashed with forces.
In the neighbouring Shopian district, hundreds of people held anti-Israel protests after Friday prayers. The protesters raised anti-Zionist slogans and called for the freedom of Palestine. A rally was later taken out from Tak Masjid to Gool Chowk.
Meanwhile, a police spokesman said that a youth was injured in Wanpoh and his condition is stable. The spokesman said another lady Hasina also sustained injuries.
The spokesman added that stray incidents of stone-pelting were reported from Qaimoh, Wanpoh in Kulga, Nowhatta, Naidkhai, Sopore, Papchan and Bandipora.—With inputs from GNS