Protests, clashes over SAR Geelani arrest, JNU crackdown

Srinagar: Protests erupted in several parts of the old city after Friday prayers against the detention of former Delhi University lecturer SAR Geelani and the crackdown on JNU students for organising an event on the death anniversary of Afzal Guru.
The call for holding sit-in protests was given by Hurriyat Conference-led by Syed Ali Geelani.
Soon after Friday prayers were offered at Srinagar’s historic Jamia Masjid, scores of youth emerging from the Masjid compound attempted to move towards Nowhatta chowk to offer prayers in absentia for the three slain militants killed in the 48-hour long gunfight at Pampore that ended on Monday.
However, police and paramilitary forces, deployed in strength around the Masjid and its adjoining areas, wearing battle gear, prevented the protestors from assembling for the prayers, which led to clashes.
The clashes spilled over to nearby areas including Nowhatta, Rajouri Kadal, Hawal, Saraf Kadal and Kawadara.
At Rajouri Kadal, youths displayed Pakistani, ISIS flags and a banner with “we will miss you”, referring to slain Pampore militants, emblazoned on it.
During the clashes, a youth and cop received injuries but their identity could not be ascertained.
Despite restrictions and crackdown on its leaders, several Hurriyat Conference (G) leaders and activists held sit-ins at different district places in the Valley, its spokesman said in a statement.
He said leaders of the amalgam, Agha Syed Hassan Al-Safvi Al-Moosvi, Hafiz Bashir Ahmad Farooqi, Mohammad Yaseen Attaai and Mohammad Maqbool led protest demonstrations in Budgam while as Bashir Ahmad Qurashi, Shakir Ahmad Mir, Sayed Imtiyaz Hayder, Rameez Raja and Umar Adil Dar held sit-in protest at Amirakadal Lal Chowk.
He said in press colony, Srinagar, protests were led by Bilal Siddiqi, Zamrooda Habib and Yasmeen Raja while as in Sopore, it was led by Ghulam Mohammad Khan Sopori, Mohammad Subhan Wani and Haji Rustum Bhat.
“Shakeel Ahmad Bhat and Yaar Mohammad Khan led protest march from Maisuma while as Rafiq Ahmad Ganai led protest demonstration at Islamabad (Anantnag). Salman Yousuf, Rayees Ahmad Mir and Danish Mushtaq also led protests at Hajin, Gund Jahangir in Bandipora,” he said.
According to spokesman, police detained dozens of Hurriyat leaders and activists including Bashir Ahmad Qurashi, Sayed Imtiyaz Hayder, Umar Adil Dar, Jamsheed Ahmad, Javaid Ahmad Baba, Shakeel Ahmad Bhat, Mohammad Imran, Yar Mohammad Khan, Basher Ahmad Parray, Fasil Manzoor, Zamrooda Habeeb along with her 19 women activists and Yasmeen Raja.