Srinagar, June 24 : Dozens of people were injured here when the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel opened fire upon demonstrators on Monday protesting against a government decision to transfer forestland to a Amarnath shrine board.
The protest took an ugly turn when agitators started pelting stones over a passing CRPF vehicle.
Facing attack from all sides, the CRPF personnel in the vehicle resorted to firing to escape from the spot.
"The firing injured more than dozen including some kids and shopkeepers," saidahim Rather, an eyewitness.
Earlier, police in the city fired tear gas and used batons to disperse hundreds of demonstrators.
According to the witness, police detained at least 50 protesters from different parts of Srinagar.
The issue of land transfer to the Amarnath shrine board has snowballed into a full-blown controversy.
The Jammu and Kashmir Government recently transferred nearly 40 hectares of forest land in Baltal area to the Shri Amarnath-ji Shrine Board (SASB) for 23.1 million rupees.
The move drew sharp reaction across the political spectrum. It brought together two bitter factions of the separatist All-Party Hurriyat (Freedom) Conference (APHC) to resist the move.
The shrine board's CEO Arun Kumar, who is also the Principal Secretary to the state Governor Lt. General (Retired) S.K. Sinha, confirmed this week that the land transfer was "permanent" and legitimate as the shrine board is a state body.
While the move implies an implicit approval of the Congress party, the People's Democratic Party (PDP) and the National Conference Party have opposed the move.