About 80 injured in fresh anti poll clashes in Kashmir

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Srinagar, Nov 21 (UNI) About 80 people were injured when security forces resorted to firing, teargassing and lathicharge to disperse anti-poll demonstrators in the Kashmir valley today.

The injured included some security personnel, official sources said.

They said, immediately after Friday prayers were over in different mosques in the Shar-e-Khas and down town areas, people took to streets, raising pro-freedom and anti-poll slogans.

However, the trouble started when CRPF and police stopped them from moving towards the city.

The demonstrators, mostly youths, pelted stones, forcing security forces to burst teargas shells after lathicharge failed to have any affect.

About 15 people were injured as clashes spread to other areas in the down town and interior city.

A report from Baramulla said security forces fired in air and also burst teargas shells to disperse hundreds of anti-election demonstrators in the town in the afternoon.

It said immediately after Friday prayers were over in different mosques in the afternoon, thousands of people joined the anti-election demonstrators in the main town.

Raising ''pro-freedom'' and anti-election slogans, the demonstrators tried to move towards the highway and other areas when, police and CRPF personnel, deployed in strength, swung into action and resorted to lathicharge to disperse them.

However, when it had no affect on demonstrators, who were pelting stones from lanes and bylanes, security forces burst teargas shells to disperse them.

Later, security forces fired in the air to bring the situation under control.

Stone pelting was going on when the reports last came.

About 40 people, including some security personnel, were injured in the clashes.

Similar demonstrations were held in Sopore and other major town of north Kashmir after Friday prayers.

Business and other activities came to halt in Baramulla and Sopore after the prayers. The Coordination Committee (CC), spearheading the anti-poll agitation in Kashmir, had appealed to people to hold demonstrations and observe strike after Friday prayers.

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