Srinagar: Several workers of pro-India parties were injured Monday in attacks by pro-freedom protesters in this summer capital of J&K.
The first attack took place at Darish Kadal in the downtown city when PDP’s candidate for Eidgah constituency, Ali Mohammad Wani, was holding a road show in the area, eyewitnesses and officials told Kashmir Reader.
Groups of youth emerged from narrow lanes and by lanes of Darish Kadal and pelted stones on the cavalcade. Hilal Ahmad Dar of Karan Nagar, and Ejaz Ahmad Zargar, a shopkeeper were injured in the clashes that also affected traffic.
“Angry youth continued assaults at the PDP workers, even as police tried its best to chase them away. The clashes continued for some time. The shopkeepers pulled down their shutters fearing that the situation might take an ugly turn,” Mushtaq Lone, an eyewitness, told Kashmir Reader.
An hour later, a group of youth roughed up several PDP workers in Batamaloo locality, where PDP candidate Noor Mohammad was busy in a road show.
“The youth were furious over election campaigning by the pro-India leaders. They caught hold of several workers and beat them to the pulp. Many activists were seen running for safety,” said an eyewitness Farooq Ahmed.
He said the pro-India activists were rescued by the cops after a baton charge. “Six PDP workers were thrashed by the angry protesters. Some of them sustained minor injuries,” he said.
Later in the day, angry youth pelted stones on the cavalcade of NC leader Shameema Firdous when she was campaigning in Habba Kadal constituency. Two youth were injured in the attack that caught the NC campaigners by surprise. One of the injured youth has been identified as Abid Ahmed of Habba Kadal.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah had to face a hostile crowd at the Deputy Commissioner (DC) office, where he was accompanying his party colleague Nasir Aslam Wani who was filing nomination for Amira Kadal constituency.
Eyewitnesses said that a woman was protesting against the failure of the government when Omar and Nasir were leaving the DC compound after filing nomination papers.
“Her cries sparked pro-freedom protests in the DC office. The youth shouted pro-freedom slogans, as the security guards cornered the CM and whisked him away,” a photojournalist, who was covering the event, told Kashmir Reader.
Sanjay Saraf of Lok Janshakti Party also had to face angry protests when he reached the office of Srinagar Municipal to file his nomination papers. Stones were reportedly hurled at Saraf’s cavalcade.
Meanwhile, the traders of SDA Plaza Shopping Complex, Batamaloo, have demanded strict action against PDP workers who allegedly looted their shops and resorted to stone pelting.
“During an election campaign, workers rally was passing through our market in their vehicles. Meanwhile, they stopped their vehicles in front of our shops, entered the market and looted our shops and broke glass frames,” president of the Bazaar Committee said in his complaint to the police.
The traders threatened to come out on the streets if the police failed to take action against the accused political party workers.