Yasin Malik injured in Srinagar protests
12 September 2008
The Hindustan Times
: Muhammad Yasin Malik, chairman of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), was injured in Srinagar on Friday when the police baton-charged a group of protesters in Lal Chowk city centre. Malik was leading a sit-in protest of about 4,000 people at Lal Chowk after Friday prayers. The separatist leader was injured as police used batons and tear gas shells to disperse the protesters. 'Malik fell unconscious and was immediately removed to the SMHS hospital,' a JKLF activist told IANS. Doctors at the hospital said Malik was out of danger, but had sustained an injury in his leg. Protests after Friday prayers were reported from other places in Srinagar and elsewhere in the Kashmir Valley. The joint co-ordination committee of both the separatist groups of Hurriyat conference had called for peaceful protests after Friday prayers across the Valley and a complete shutdown after 12.30 pm. Addressing a large congregation at the Jamia mosque in the old city area in Srinagar on Friday, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, chairman of the moderate Hurriyat group, called on people to boycott the forthcoming assembly elections in the state. He was also highly critical of the police sending summons to people of various in the city to present themselves at police stations in connection with their participation in separatist protests and rallies. 'Once anybody receives such summons in the locality, the entire population of that locality must go to the police station and lodge a peaceful protest there,' he said. 'The administration should immediately stop this practice of summoning people to police stations, failing which we shall be forced to start a 'Jail Bharo' (court arrest) programme here,' the Mirwaiz said. Elections to the state legislative assembly are due in November. The state is under six-month governor's rule since July 11 when the previous Congress-led coalition government fell and the state assembly dissolved after the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) pulled out of the alliance following differences over the Amarnath shrine land allotment. The issue has had the state on the boil amid conflicting claims from Muslims in the Valley and Hindu groups in Jammu region over a piece of forest land allotted to Shri Amarnath Shrine Board that manages annual pilgrimage to the cave shrine in south Kashmir. Nearly 50 people have died, mostly in police and paramilitary firing, during the last two months of protests over the land row.