Low key Eid celebrations amid clashes, various injured

SRINAGAR: Though the Eid celebrations remained low-key, it did not prevent youth at various places from resorting to protests that eventually ended up in clashes with the police and paramilitary forces. More than a dozen clashes were reported from across Kashmir and some are still going on at various places.

Stone pelting at Eidgah Srinagar port Eid prayers. (KL Image: Bilal Bahadur)

Authorities in Srinagar had prevented the Eid prayers gathering at TRC and Radpora in old city but permitted the Eidgah gathering. However, it did not permit Mirwaiz Umer Farooq to lead the prayers.

This situation led to protests in Eidgah and Gaw Kadal where the youth clashed with police. It was stone pelting versus tear smoke shelling. The clashes momentarily led to the closure of all celebrations in the area and the hawkers selling toys and eatables to children also left.

From almost every major town in south Kashmir, a protest was reported. In Islamabad, after the Eid prayers were over, a good gathering of youth engaged police in a clash near Ashaji Pora. In fact the youth came from two major spots where the Eid prayers were offered, Hanfia Eidgah and Jamiat Ahli Hadees Eidgah. The two sides were engaged in intermittent clashes when this report was filed. In one of the two Eidgah’s, there were life size banners featuring the slain Hizb militants, witnesses said, adding various persons suffered injuries in the clashes. Similar posters were in Shopian Eidgah as well which, after prayers, were seized by cops.

Similar reports of protests were reported from Kulgam, Shopian, Qazigund, Devsar and many other major villages.

Clashes were also reported from Anantnag, Kulgam, Shopian and other areas of south Kashmir on Monday.

In north Kashmir, reports of post-prayer clashes between youth and police were received from Palhallan and Sopore. Police sources said after prayers, a number of youth raised slogans and they were cased away. They said they have no idea of any injury.

In Srinagar, reports said, the separatist leaders were planning joint participation in the Eidgah prayers but the government foiled that by sending Yasin Malik to jail and keeping Syed Ali Geelani and Mirwaiz under house arrest. However, Mirwaiz has spoken to the Eidgah gathering on phone. In his brief speech, he has condemned the restrictions, massive arrests, NIA raids and reiterated his sympathies with the slain and the detained. He has regretted attempts at playing with the communal amity in Jammu and insisted that repetition of 1947 like incidents will not be permitted.

(Photographs used in this copy may not have direct relevance to the day’s events)

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