Protests After Eid Prayers In Valley, Police Vehicle Set Ablaze17 November 2010
The Daily Excelsior
Srinagar: Protests were held at several places across Kashmir valley on a call given by hard line faction of Hurriyat Conference headed by Syed Ali Shah Geelani as a mob set a police vehicle on fire and five persons including a cop were injured in the clashes. Soon after the Eidul Azha prayers, a group of miscreants took to streets at Janglat Mandi in Anantnag district of south Kashmir and started raising slogans agianst the recent killing of over 100 youth in the ongoing agitation in the Valley, official sources said. Security forces initially used batons in a vain bid to chase away the protestors but had to resort to tear smoke shelling as the protestors started pelting stones at them, they said. Enraged by the police and CRPF action, a mob set on fire a police vehicle which had brought the cops to the Janglat Mandi to meet any eventuality of protests, the sources said. The protestors also pelted stones at the Deputy Commissioner's office in Anantnag town during the clashes. Similar clashes were also witnessed at Safakadal and Nawakadal areas of the old city in Srinagar after the Eid prayers. The youth were protesting against the alleged security forces excesses in the area including arrest of several youth on the charges of stone pelting during the past couple of months, the sources said. A protest demonstration was also held at Hazratbal shrine after the Eid prayers but there were no clashes as the protestors dispersed peacefully after senior police officials warned them that the assembly was illegal. Reports of Eid prayers were also received from Hajin, Bandipora town and Sumbal areas of Bandipora district, Sopore and Baramulla towns in Baramulla district and Ganderbal district headquarter town. Police had to fire tear smoke shells to chase away the protestors at these places. Although sources said four civilians were injured in the clashes between the police and the protestors, a police spokesman said only one civilian sustained injuries in the incident. He also said that one policeman was also injured. 'Police exercised maximum restraint while dealing with the situation to avoid any mishap. Miscreants were chased away and situation in these areas was brought to normal,' the spokesman said. He said police Head Constable Ghulam Mohammed was injured in the head at Janglat Mandi while a 'miscreant', identified as Noor Mohammed Shera, was injured by a stone during stone pelting at Nawakadal in Srinagar. Both of the injured are stable. The Government had made unprecedented security arrangements in Srinagar city and other major towns of the Valley to prevent a repeat of violent incidents that took place on Eidul Fitr on September 11. Police and paramilitary CRPF personnel were deployed in large numbers at sensitive places in the city as authorities apprehended that the separatists might try to capitalise on readymade gatherings at Eid prayers to instigate protests, which often lead to loss of life and property. Several separatist leaders were put under house arrest as a preventive measure. They included Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Shabir Ahmad Shah, Nayeem Ahmad Khan and Shahidul Islam. The separatist groups have condemned police restrictions on the movement of their leaders which prevented them from offering Eid prayers and described the Government move as curbing of religious freedom and interference in religion.