Youths clash with security forces in Srinagar, Sopore
Amid a shutdown called by separatist leaders over death sentence to a Kulgam youth by a Kolkata court, protests erupted at various places in Kashmir after the Friday prayers, affecting normal life.
The protests led to clashes between protesters and the police forces in downtown Srinagar. Stone-throwing protesters also hurled a petrol bomb towards the CRPF men near Jamia Masjid in the Nowhatta area of Srinagar. The petrol bomb hit one of the jawans.
The protesters were chased away by the police and CRPF men who resorted to teargas shelling and fired in the air.
Two photojournalists Farooq Khan and S Irfan, covering the incident, also received injuries in the clashes at Nowhatta. S Irfan was later discharged from a hospital after being provided medical aid.
Protests and clashes after the Friday congregational prayers were also reported from Sopore town of Baramulla district in north Kashmir. Reports said that groups of youth held protests leading to clashes between protesters and policemen. The police lobbed teargas shells and fired in the air to quell the demonstrators.
Separatist leaders, Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Faroq and Mohammad Yasin Malik, who had been jointly issuing protest calendars during the 2016 unrest, had called for a shutdown and protests against the death sentence to Muzaffar Ahmad Rather, a youth from Kulgam district in south Kashmir, by a Kolkata court recently. The separatist organisations have also expressed concern over the death sentence and demanded “release of all detainees convicted of death sentence and life imprisonment”.
The moderate All Parties Hurriyat Conference chairman, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, who was scheduled to lead a protest rally from Jamia Masjid here against the death sentence, was kept under house arrest, preventing him from leading the protest rally, a party spokesman said.
The strike affected normal life across the Valley. Shops and business establishments remained closed. Passenger transport was off the road while private vehicles and autorickshaws plied in the city and elsewhere in the Valley.