Many hurt as clashes break out in Shopian, Baramulla

Bilal Habib/ Mushtaq Ahmed

Srinagar: Government forces are using batons and firing teargas canisters to break up pro-freedom demonstrations that erupted after Friday prayers in several towns of the Valley.

At least two people were injured when clashes broke out in Imam Saha area of south Kashmir’s Shopian town between protesters and government forces, witnesses told Kashmir Reader. One of the injured identified as Javed Ahmad of Padgampora was shifted to Srinagar hospital for treatment.

The forces also arrested eight youth while using batons and bursting teargas canisters to disperse protesters.

“8 boys have been arrested. A sumo and a motorcycle has also been seized from the boys, who were creating law and order problem,” SP Shopian Mohammad Altaf Khan told Kashmir Reader.

Reports of protests in response to the call given by Hurriyat Conference (G) were also recieved from several parts of Pulwama, including the restive Tral township.

Protesters and goverment forces also clashed in twin towns of Sopore and Palhallan in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district.

Groups of youth, witnesses said converged at Main Chowk, Sopore after the congregation Friday concluded, and staged pro-freedom and anti-India demonstrations. Besides shouting slogans, the protesters, mostly boys, pelted rocks at the CRPF and police deployments.

The forces, witnesses said responded by tossing tear smoke shells towards them. However, the defiant youth continued throwing stones at the forces from lanes and bylanes of the town.

Protesters also hit the streets in the volatile Palhallan town this afternoon. Forces, witnesses said, lobbed teargas canisters when the protesters tried to march towards the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad highway.

The clashes were going on when the last reports came in.

Here in this capital city, where restrictions have been imposed in downtown, clashes broke out between protesters and government forces in Habba Kadal locality.

In Hydepora, senior Hurriyat Conference (G) leader Mohammad Ashraf Sehrai led a peacful protest rally from Jamia Masjid Hyderpora. The rally dispersed peacefully.

With inputs from Asim Shah