Shutdown amid clashes, protests affects life in Kashmir

KL News Network

Srinagar

Closed shops during strike called by resistance leadership in the Kashmir valley, at Lal chowk in Srinagar on Friday.PHOTO BY BILAL BAHADUR

Kashmir valley on Friday observed a shutdown to observe Kashmir Resistance Day. The joint resistance leadership had called for protests against the death sentence of Muzaffar Ahmad, a Kulgam resident by a West Bengal court.

Shops, commercial establishments remained closed across Valley while skeletal movement of transport was witnessed on the roads. Besides Srinagar city, shutdown was also observed in all the districts of North, South and Central Kashmir.

A masked Kashmiri protester prepares to throw stone at policemen during a protest in Srinagar, Friday, February 3, 2017. PHOTO BY BILAL BAHADUR

Massive clashes were reported from old Srinagar city shortly after the culmination of Friday congregational prayers. Earlier Hurriyat (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was placed under house arrest to prevent him from leading a rally to protest against the death sentence awarded to a Kashmiri youth by a West Bengal court.

Eyewitnesses said that a large number of youth hit to roads in Nowhatta and clashed with the deployed security men. Witnesses added that government forces retaliated with tear-smoke shells and pellets after the protesting youth hurled rocks on them. A police official said that a group of protesters hurled petrol bomb on CRPF party resulting in the injuries of a CRPF man. He said that the left arm of the CRPF jawan suffered burn injuries. Reports said that 8 persons including two photo journalists were wounded during the clashes. Both the photojournalists Irfan Ahmed (PTI), and Farooq Javaid Khan (Rising Kashmir) were wounded after they were hit by stones. Irfan Ahmed received 6 stitches in his head.

A masked Kashmiri protester prepares to throw stone at policemen during a protest in Srinagar, Friday, February 3, 2017. PHOTO BY BILAL BAHADUR

Clashes were also reported from Nawakadal area of Srinagar city.

A protest march was taken out by Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front in Maisuma. The protest march was led by JKLF leaders Sheikh Abdul Rashid, Noor Muhamma Kalwal and others. The protesters carrying banners and placards denounced the pronouncement of death sentence by a Kolkatta court to Kulgam youth. Similar type of protest was organized by Tehreek-e-Hurriyat at Hyderpora Srinagar.

A pro-freedom protest was carried out at Seer Jagir Sopore that was led by senior separatist leader Abdul Samad Inqalabi. Amid pro-freedom slogans the protesters demanded the annulment of death sentence of Kulgam youth Muzaffar Ahmed Rather.

Clashes were also reported from Sopore town. A police official said that barring few stray incidents of stone pelting, situation remained peaceful across Kashmir. (CNS)

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