Srinagar: A massive anti-India protests broke out in Srinagar as the authorities lifted curfew after 17 days on Tuesday leaving 31 people wounded. A pro-freedom rally taken out from downtown moved towards Lal Chowk but were prevented by police and CRPF who used teargas canisters to break up the protesters.
The witnesses said that hundreds of youths in almost all the areas of old City took to streets in the morning, blocked roads and started pro-freedom protests. The youths also played ‘Taranas’ in mosques of the downtown and the wave of protests spread to other parts of the City in uptown.
Two large processions were intercepted by government forces at Safa Kadal and Babademb areas with police resorting to massive teargas shelling and pellet firing. At least eight protesters sustained injuries in the police action but protests continued. The clashes also erupted at Saida Kadal, Rainawari, Nowpora, Nawa Kadal, Darish Kadal areas.
However, the situation turned tense after a huge procession — enroute to Lal Chowk — of youths from Old City areas reached Budshah Chowk was intercepted by police. The police lobbed dozens of teargas shells towards the processions, ensuing clashes between the two sides. The police chased the protesters from Hari Singh High Street, Exhibition crossing and Shaheed Gunj Old Secretariat.
The protesters however also responded by pelting stones. Later clashes erupted in near DC office and adjoining areas. The clashes also spread to Kani Kadal, Chotta Bazar, Nawab Bazar, Batamaloo and Karan Nagar.
Authorities had not lifted curfew from Anantnag district of south Kashmir but clashes erupted at several places in the district. At Charsoo in Awantipora, a large procession was taken out by people. The protesters in Sumbal attacked local police station while at Warpora Sopore, people pelted stones on police post. A CRPF camp at SDH Sopore was also stoned by youths.
With inputs from GNS