Srinagar: CRPF and police are using batons and firing teargas canisters in parts of downtown here and Pulwama town of south Kashmir to break up anti-India demonstrations triggered by the ban on the sale of beef across the state.
Dozens of people, mostly youth emerged from the historic Jamia Masjid after the Friday prayers concluded, and staged pro-freedom and anti-India demonstrations, witnesses told Kashmir Reader. Carrying portraits of Jamat-ud-Dawah chief Hafeez Mohammad Sayed, UJC chairman Syed Salahud-din and young Hizb militant Burhan Muzaffar Wani, the people were protesting against the High Court order banning sale of beef across Jammu and Kashmir.
“The protesters tried to march towards the Nowhatta Chowk. However, the CRPF and police that were deployed in advance burst teargas canisters to foil their plan. The protesters reacted by hurling stones at the forces,” Abdur Rahim, a witness said.
He said that the clashes spread to the congested lanes and by lanes of Nowhatta, considered to be the bastion of Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, who was placed under house arrest early morning.
Meanwhile, clashes have also been reported from Pulwama town, where police detained senior Hurriyat Conference (G) leader Shabir Ahmad Shah when he was delivering a speech.
The forces used batons and tossed tear smoke shells to disperse the people, who protested Shah’s arrest.
Reports of protests against the ban on beef sale have also been received from Sopore and other parts of north Kashmir. Similar reports poured from Tral, Anantnag, Shopian and Kulgam districts.
Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman, Syed Ali Geelani had called for peaceful protests after Friday prayers followed by a complete shutdown on Saturday against the court verdict.