Clashes break in Srinagar amid strike by separatists; 2 hurt
Srinagar, Jun 27: Violent clashes broke out between a group of youths and security forces in parts of the city today, leaving a youth and a policeman injured in stone pelting as separatist groups called a strike here condemning the police action on Jamia Masjid yesterday.
The group fought battles with security forces at Maisuma near Lal Chowk, they said. During the clashes, head constable Bansi Lal of IRP received stone injury on the head.
He was shifted to SKIMS Soura for treatment, the police said. Police said that a group of 20-25 youths started pelting stones on security forces in Nowhatta near Jamia Masjid.
The protests then spread to Rajouri Kadal Chowk and Saraf Kadal areas of the city. In the ensuing clashes, 25-year-old Sahil Ahmad Chonka received pellet injuries on eyes and chest, the police said, adding he was admitted at SMHS hospital here where his condition is stated to be stable.
During the protests, some youth waved controversial flags at Rajouri Kadal. Clashes were also reported from Kawdara area of downtown city, they said.
Today's strike was called by separatist groups in Srinagar to protest the clashes between pro-separatist protestors and security forces here.
Though shops were shut in Lal Chowk city centre, they were open in most other parts of the district, officials said. Footpath and hand cart vendors went about their business as usual while public transport was plying normally at most of the places.
Government offices and banks functioned normally across Srinagar district, the officials said. However, schools remained shut in the city as a precautionary measure towards safety of the students in the wake of the strike call, they said.
Clashes broke out yesterday between the protestors and security forces during which Pakistan and global terror outfit IS flags were raised by some youth in Nowhatta area here.
As soon as the Friday prayers were over at Jamia Masjid, a large number of youth raised pro-freedom and pro-Pakistan slogans and tried to march towards Nowhatta Chowk, police said.
Chairman of moderate faction of Hurriyat Conference, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq claimed police fired tear smoke shells inside the mosque, terming the action as "interference in religious affairs".
The strike call was given by Anjuman Awqaf Jama Masjid, which manages the affairs of the grand mosque, to condemn the police action.
The strike was supported by the Hurriyat Conference led by Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, who said the act caused "tremendous hardships to the devotees in the mosque who had assembled to offer Friday prayers there".
The strike was also supported by hardline faction of Hurriyat Conference led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani, JKLF and Kashmir Economic Alliance.