SRINAGAR: The fifth death anniversary of Mohammad Afzal Guroo was observed on Friday with a complete shutdown across Kashmir valley. The Joint resistance leadership (JRL) of Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik had called for a valley-wide shutdown on the day.
According to reports, all districts of Kashmir saw deserted streets from early morning. The reports said that shops, business establishments and tuition centres remained closed throughout the day while public transport was off the roads.
In Srinagar, government authorities did not allow Friday prayers at the historic Jamia Masjid. A large number of forces were deployed outside the mosque and adjoining areas.
Eyewitnesses told Kashmir Reader that the situation in old Srinagar remained peaceful till the evening but violent clashes erupted in Nawakadal after 5pm and they spread to several parts of the old city.
Witnesses said clashes erupted when a large contingent of police and paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) were heading towards their stations and camps in the evening. “Police used tear smoke shells and stun grenades to disperse the protesters,” an eyewitness said, adding that the clashes ended after dusk.
Clashes also erupted in Budgam district’s Mauchowa area near the railway track during the second half of the day. Local sources told Kashmir Reader that scores of youths threw stones at government forces who responded with teargas shelling and pellet firing.
Local sources said that a 16-year-old, identified as Aamir Majid, a resident of Kenihama-Budgam, received “severe” pellet injury in his right eye. Amir was moved to Srinagar’s SMHS hospital for treatment, they said.
Reports said that very thin traffic movement was visible on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway.
Railway authorities suspended train services from Banihal to Baramulla as a “precautionary measure”.