Srinagar: Responding to the resistance leadership’s call for protests against a “new wave of terror unleashed by government forces”, protest demonstrations and street clashes occurred at several places in Kashmir even as the top resistance leadership was caged inside their homes on Friday.
Soon after congregational prayers ended at the historic Jamia Masjid in Srinagar, activists of the Mirwaiz Umar Farooq-led Awami Action Committee held protests carrying placards that called for an end to killings, oppression and arrests.
Clashes broke out outside the mosque when youths resorted to intense stone-pelting on government troops deployed there. The troops fired tear gas shells as well as pellets at the stone-throwing youths, reports said.
In Maisuma, scores of JKLF activists took out a protest rally after the conclusion of Friday prayers. In uptown Hyderpora, people led by Hurriyat (G) activists held protests against the killings of civilians. “The resistance activists asserted that the freedom movement shall continue, come what may,” a participant said.
Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai were under house detention throughout the day. They were barred from attending the congregational Friday prayers.
Two youths were arrested by men of the Sahastra Seema Bal (SSB) in Bemina area soon after the Friday prayers. “People from the area came out in protest and minor clashes erupted when people demanded the release of the two youths,” a local said.
The SDPO (West) of JK Police told Kashmir Reader that the arrested duo was involved in stone-pelting. He did not reveal the identity of the arrested duo.
In Baramulla’s Sopore town, clashes broke out when scores of youths took to the streets after offering congregational prayers at the Markazi Jamia Masjid. They raised pro-freedom and anti-India slogans and clashed with government troops near the mosque.
There were reports of stone-pelting on government forces deployed at the main bazaar and at the main chowk of Sopore town. The troops reportedly used teargas shells to disperse the stone-throwing youths. Shopkeepers lowered their shutters and the clashes spread in the area as the afternoon progressed. The clashes were still going on when this report was filed. No injury was reported so far.
In Tral’s Nowdal and Batgund areas, where local militants were buried two days ago, scores of youths tried to take out a rally and hurled stones at the troops deployed there after Friday prayers were over, local sources told Kashmir Reader.