Islamabad Shuts, Clashes in Old Srinagar

Aakash Hassan

SRINAGAR

The Old Srinagar clashes post Friday prayers. (KL Images by Bilal Bahadur)
The Old Srinagar clashes post Friday prayers. (KL Images by Bilal Bahadur)

Islamabad district of south Kashmir Friday observed a complete Shutdown to mark the fourth day of the killing of a local militant on Tuesday.

On Tuesday which coincided with 26 January function, a local militant Mushtaq Ahmad Haroo of Pushwara village was killed in a brief gunfight with Army and Police in Khalhar Kokernag.

Markets and business establishments remained shut while traffic remained off from roads, a police official said.

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Incidents of stone pelting were also reported from KP road, Cheeni Chowk, and Khanbal.

However, no one sustained injuries in these clashes, official sources said.

Meanwhile, Hurriyat (m) Friday condemned the “unnecessary” presence of forces around Jamia Masjid Srinagar, its adjoining areas and most areas of Shehr-e-Khas on Fridays.

In a statement issued here the spokesperson of Hurriyat (m) said that old city had been left at the mercy of the forces committing atrocities on unarmed civilians by “tear gas shelling and pepper gas use under a well-formulated scheme to destroy the business of traders and harass the people coming to offer prayers at the historic mosque”.

Nowhatta Protests

Severe post Friday congregational protests erupted in and around Jamia Masjid today. Youth fought pitched battles with police and paramilitary forces. Stone pelting continued for the most part of the day.

Stressing that APHC-m had time and again brought the issue of unnecessary presence of forces around Jamia Masjid on Fridays to the notice of the state administration and cautioned about its serious repercussions, the spokesperson alleged, “the authorities were fanning unrest in the entire area by trying to destroy the business activities of the Shehar-e-Khas, creating miseries for poor artisans living in the area and damaging the importance and centrality of the historic Jamia Mosque.”

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Terming it unfortunate that even at the time of Friday congregational prayers, “entire area was deliberately converted into a garrison, creating problems for people trying to reach Jamia Masjid for offering prayers”, the APHC-m spokesperson said, “tear gas shelling and use of pepper gas was creating severe problems for the people, which the state administration was dealing by using oppressive means.”

(Aakash Hassan is an Intern with Kashmir Life.)

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