Mirwaiz Invokes Dialogue; Cops, Youth Clash After Eid Prayers

SRINAGAR: Eid prayers concluded across Kashmir even though there were clashes between youth and police at various places. A few people have suffered minor injuries in the clashes that emerged soon after the prayers were over. However, police said they are verifying the report about possible injuries.

Paramilitary CRPF started moving in a group towards the stone pelting crowd in Srinagar’s old city on June 5, 2019, minutes after teh Eid prayers were over. KL Image: Bilal Bahadur

Though the Eidgah would normally witness an hour long clash, it did not happen because the venue of the prayers was shifted to Jamia Masjid in wake of inclement weather and raining for last two days.  Eidgah would routinely host the major gathering of the Eid. Three person were reported to have been injured in this incident. Of them, the seriously injured one of whom was from Ganderbal. Police, however, said they are verifying the reports about the injuries.

After the prayers were over, some youth resorted to symbolic protests and displaying their flags and posters. Most of the young men in this incident were hooded. It was mostly a photo-op. However, there was a fierce brief clash between cops and the youth. Stone pelting was reported.

Srinagar witnessed two major Eid prayers gatherings at Jamia Masjid and Dargah-e-Hazratbal.

Miwaiz Umer Farooq who led the Eid prayers spoke at length to thousands of people. Insisting that Kashmir needs a “peaceful and political solution”, Mirwaiz asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to start a new chapter on Kashmir.

Protesters fleeing from the stone pelting scene after the para-military CRPF charges on them. KL Image: Bilal Bahadur

“We demand that the present military approach against our youth be stopped,” Mirwaiz said in his Eid speech at the Jamia Masjid. “We are ready to extend a helping hand and support a peaceful dialogue between the two countries.” He said the Kashmiri Muslims are praying for an early dialogue between India and Pakistan and want the CBMs stalled or on hold are initiated.

“Mirwaiz reiterated the stand of Kashmiri leadership to help bridge the divide between them, which was imperative for resolution of Kashmir issues and to devise a mechanism for dialogue and deliberations,” a spokesman of the cleric said. “He demanded the opening of traditional routes to facilitate travel and trade and families and friends contact between the divided parts of Kashmir. Mirwaiz said all natural routes of divided Jammu and Kashmir should be re-opened so that people are allowed to connect to their loved ones.
Mirwaiz hoped that the New Delhi’s new ruling dispensation will take positive steps for resolution of the basic political problem and will work for its redressal to end uncertainty once for all.”

Earlier, the youth clashes with the cops in Sopore, Baramulla, Pulwama and Shopian. In all these incidents, the youth have resorted to stone pelting and the police used tear smoke shells. Unlike the Nowhatta groups who were protesting against the killing of Zakir Misa, it was not immediately known why there were protests at several other places.

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