Srinagar, Aug 25 : Nearly 24 protesters were injured on Monday as stone pelting mobs defied curfew and fought street battles with security forces in Srinagar and at many places across the Kashmir Valley.
According to reports, defying curfew the protesters tried to march for a sit-in at Lal Chowk this morning. Security forces had to cane-charge, lob tear gas shells and fire several rounds in air to disperse the protesters.
Similar reports of mass defiance of curfew came from Hajan in Bandipora district, Kupwara town, Bijbehara in Anantnag district, Sopore in Baramulla district, Beerwah in Budgam district, Kulgam district town and several places in Srinagar city. Protesters also clashed with police at Digiana on the Jammu-Pathankot highway. Curfew remained clamped in all the 10 districts of the Kashmir Valley for the second day today, even as authorities arrested Hurriyat leaders, Sayed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and Yasin Malik as a precautionary measure to prevent their attempts to organise a rally, which they called to protest against the failure of the Centre to resolve the Kashmir issue.
Police have raided several places last night and detained ten other second rank separatist leaders.
One person was killed and dozens were injured when security forces opened fire and lobbed tear gas shells on Sunday after protesters tried to defy the curfew at several places in the Valley.
The Army is on standby in nine districts and says that it will assist the Government in enforcing strict curfew. For the first time in recent weeks the Army is out in all districts except Srinagar. Local cable news channels have been asked not to broadcast news and current affairs programmes.