100 Detained In Crackdown On Stone Pelters In Kashmir25 June 2010
Srinagar: Over 100 youths were rounded up in a crackdown on stone pelters even as fresh clashes erupted today in old city during a strike call by hardline faction of Hurriyat Conference that disrupted normal life in all major towns of the Kashmir Valley. Shortly after Friday prayers, groups of youths took out a procession from Jamia Masjid and started pelting stones when police and paramilitary forces prevented them from marching forward, official sources said. The clashes were continuing till evening at Saraf Kadal, Bohri Kadal and Rajouri kadal in old city, the sources said. Police have arrested over 100 youths from different parts of the city and Baramulla and Sopore towns of north Kashmir for their alleged involvement in stone pelting incidents since Wednesday The youths are in the age group of 18-23 and were rounded up during raids conducted in different areas of the old city, police sources said. 'We have arrested only those youths whose images have been captured by our videographers. We have got enough evidence to prove that arrested youths are involved in stone pelting,' police sources said. They said that FIRs have been registered against most of the arrested youths and they would be produced in court soon. However, family members of the arrested youths accused the police of harassing them and their wards. Reports from Sopore and Baramulla in north Kashmir said the police have arrested more than 20 youths in connection with stone pelting incidents. Younis Ali (13) was arrested by police on Wednesday from a school in old city, his family claimed. A student of class VIII, Younis was arrested from his examination centre at the government boys high school, Rainwari. Police picked him up alleging the teenaged student participated in stone throwing protests in the area, they said. 'Policemen had gone to his school to arrest him and did not allow him to appear in the exam,' said his mother Atika. 'When Tufil Ahmad Mattoo of Saidakadal was killed, everyone was out on streets pelting stones. He (younis) was also among them. He was not the only person pelting stones on the security forces,' Atika said. Meanwhile, shops and business markets remained closed and traffic remained off the roads. However, attendance in government offices and educational institutions was near normal, official sources said. Following the call for strike, the chief secretary SS Kapur issued instructions to the divisional commissioners of Kashmir and Jammu, all deputy commissioners and heads of the departments to immediately constitute special teams to monitor attendance in government offices and institutions. The authorities also announced that ongoing 10th class examinations would be held as per schedule today. The hardline faction of Hurriyat yesterday gave the call for strike today to protest against the alleged human rights violations.