Local shopkeepers protest damage done to their properties in Lal Chowk encounter

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Srinagar, Jan.8 (ANI): A day after the 22-hour security forces-terrorist encounter ended at Lal Chowk, a large group of local people, mainly shopkeepers on Friday protested over the damage done to the properties and went on rampage, following which police had to use tear gas shells and baton-charging to disperse them.

Hundreds of youths in the Maisoma area of Lal Chowk gathered after the Friday prayers and started pelting stones at the police.

Local shopkeepers turned agitated after they opened their outlets on Friday and found their shops had been damaged.

Shops and hotels, in which the militants took shelter on Wednesday to Thursday, have been totally damaged by the gunfight and grenade explosions.

The protesting youths were raising slogans against the administration and also tried to damage the public property.

It forced police to resort to tear gas shells and baton charging. Meanwhile, several police personnel as well as the local youth where injured during the clash.

Protestors said Punjab Hotel, where the two terrorists hid themselves, is a five-storey hotel but today it is in shambles, with the owner claiming damage of hundreds of thousands of rupees.

Fire tenders were deployed to clear the shops and lanes of the rubble on Friday.

Security forces shot dead two terrorists holed up in a hotel on Thursday (January 7) after a gun battle lasting nearly two days at city's main Lal Chowk area. (ANI)

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