Srinagar: Protest demonstrations were held at several places Friday against the arrest of senior Hurriyat leader, Masarat Alam and his subsequent detention under Public Safety Act (PSA). The Hurriyat (G) had called for protests after Friday congregational prayers.
Violent clashes were witnessed in old city area of Nowhatta. Reports said police resorted to teargas shelling to disperse the youth who pelted stones amid pro-freedom and anti-India slogans.
The clashes, reports said continued for several hours and later spread to neighbouring Gojwara and Rajouri Kadal.
A protest demonstration was staged by Muslim League leaders in Habba Kadal– the native area of Masarat Aalam after Friday prayers.
Senior leaders of the group participated in the demonstration and raised slogans against the government. The protesters also shouted pro-freedom slogans and demanded release of their chairman.
Several Hurriyat (G) activists also staged a protest against Masarat’s detention outside Masjid Ameer Hamza at Amira Kadal. Demanding release of Aalam, the protesters also condemned the house detention of Geelani. The protesters raised pro-Pakistan slogans.
Hundreds of people staged protests in Narbal, outskirts of Srinagar against killing of a teenager last week and Aalam’s detention. Witnesses said soon after Friday prayers, hundreds of people hit streets and shouted pro-freedom, pro-Islam and anti-India slogans.
“The protesters also chanted slogans against detention of Aalam and against the teen killing,” witnesses said, adding, several resistance leaders and activists also participated in the protest.
Soon after the protest, scores of youth clashed with police and paramilitary forces on Narbal Bridge, the witnesses said, adding, the forces resorted to heavy teargas shelling to disperse the protesters. During the clashes, several youth sustained minor injuries, sources said, adding, a complete shutdown was observed in the area.
In Baramulla hundreds of people mostly youth took to the streets after Friday prayers and staged anti India and pro-Pakistan and pro-freedom protests.
The protesters started marching from Bait ul Muqaram mosque and reached main chowk Baramulla where senior member of Hurriyat Conference Molvi Sajad Ahmad alias Chota Geelani addressed the people.
Appealing Kashmiris to fight for the freedom movement till it reaches its logical end, he termed the arrest of Alam as unjustified.
In Sopore town, hundreds of youths staged protest demonstration after the Friday prayers at main chowk. As the people assembled and tried to proceed further, the government forces including police and CRPF swung into action and stopped the marchers. This triggered clashes with youths hurling stones on forces who responded by cane charge and firing tear gas canisters.
Scores of people staged protests in Palhallan area of Pattan after Friday prayers.
Shouting pro-independence and anti India slogans on loud speakers, the protesters clashed with forces by throwing stones on them. Government forces used tear gas canister to disperse the crowds, but clashes continued till late evening.
Protests against the arrest of Masrat Alam were witnessed in Bandipora as well. Soon after the Friday prayers people took to streets in Hajin,Naidkhai,and Bandipora to protest what they termed as “illegal detention” of Alam.
In Hajin town of Bandipora, a protest rally was carried out from Jamia Masjid soon after Friday prayers in which hundreds of people mostly youth participated. The rally was led by Muslim league leaders including its Press secretary and close aide of Showkat Hakeem and Mohammad Assudullah Parray.
They protesters chanted pro-freedom, pro-Islam and anti-India slogans and later the rally concluded peacefully.
At Bandipora and Naidkhai peacefull rally was taken out from the historical Jamia masjid bandipora, witnesses said. However, later they later dispersed peacefully.
In south Kashmir’s Pulwama, the Muslim League leaders took out a protest rally from Prixhoo mosque which concluded at Rajpora Chowk. The protesters were shouting pro-freedom and pro-Islam slogans and demanded Aalam’s release. The protest ended peacefully.
Clashes between police and protesters erupted in Tral Township of south Kashmir against the detention of Aalam. However, no one was injured in the clashes.
A Muslim League spokesperson said the party leaders led protest rallies at Baramulla, Shopian, Chadoora, Shopian , Anantnag amd Hajin against Aalam’s detention.( With inputs from Mushtaq Ahmad and Mir Gowhar)