Two dozen injured in clashes in Jammu and Kashmir

10 April 2009
The Hindustan Times

Srinagar: Over two dozen people were injured in clashes after Friday prayer between stone pelting mobs and security forces in this state summer capital and Baramulla town. Dozens of protesters carried out a peaceful march through the city centre of Lal Chowk against the apex court's decision imposing ban on sporting a beard by a student in an educational institution in Madhya Pradesh. The protesters alleged that the decision was a direct interference in the religious rights of Muslims. Later, stone pelting mobs clashed with the police and the paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force in old city areas of Rajouri Kadal, Nowhatta and Kawdara. An agitated mob also torched a scooter belonging to a cop and severely beat him up in Nowhatta area. Police used batons and tear-smoke shells to disperse the mobs at these places. Around a dozen protesters and security men were injured in these clashes. A stone pelting mob also clashed with the police in Baramulla town in which around a dozen people, including protesters and policemen, were injured. Meanwhile, hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani addressed a small gathering of supporters in Jahanjir Chowk adjacent to Lal Chowk Friday. Geelani asked people to boycott the Lok Sabha elections. 'No power on earth can force us to vote in these elections,' he said. Earlier, he had given a slip to the police who had gathered around his uptown Hyderpora residence to prevent him from joining any protests in the city.