Srinagar: A day after Langate MLA Er Rashid was beaten up in the assembly by BJP legislators, two Jammu youths attempted to hoist the tricolor at the historic Lal Chowk, inviting wrath of the people and triggering a shutdown and protests in nearby areas.
The duo—identified by a police official as Sachin Kumar and Gourav Ram of RS Pora in Jammu—tried to hoist the flag near the Ghanta Ghar while shouting anti-Islam and anti-Quran slogans, local shopkeepers said.
The youths were caught by the people and given a sound thrashing. Timely arrival of police saved them, the shopkeepers said.
“We downed our shops and protested against this hooliganism,” said Rafiq, a shopkeeper who wanted to be identified by his middle name only.
The duo was taken into preventive custody.
Reacting to the incident, speaker assembly Kavinder Gupta, who recently said he was a proud RSS man, asked the government to “arrest those who raise Pakistani flags, not those who unfurl Indian tricolour”.
Protests in old city, Maisuma
At least two people, a video journalist among them, were wounded in the clashes between government forces and pro-freedom demonstrators in Nowhatta area.
The clashes, witnesses said, erupted after the police tried to stop a group of boys from taking out a pro-freedom rally from Jamia Masjid after Friday prayers.
The forces fired teargas canisters after they failed to disperse angry protesters with batons. NewsX video journalist Firdous Ahmad was hospitalized after being hit by a stone.
Dozens of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) activists led by Bashir Ahmad Bhat took out a rally from Maisuma and tried to move towards Lal Chowk, where the group had planned a peaceful sit-in protest.
The police, however, stopped them near Akhara Building and detained several JKLF members, prompting several protesters to pelt the police with stones.
Er Rashid detained after protest outside secretariat
Police detained independent legislator Engineer Abdul Rashid for two hours at the secretariat security chamber after he demonstrated outside the secretariat against the assault made on him by BJP legislators in the assembly on Thursday.
He was later put under house arrest, Rashid told Kashmir Reader.
Rashid and dozens of his supporters held a sit-in outside the secretariat. The police detained some of his supporters at various police stations and held him for two hours at the secretariat security chamber.