Many injured as protests, clashes erupt after Friday prayers

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Many injured as protests, clashes erupt after Friday prayers
Sheikh Junaid
Srinagar, June 17: Several persons were injured as Violent protests erupted in Old City and Anantnag areas against the “anti-Kashmir” proposals of State Government including establishment of separate colonies for Pandits and New Industrial Policy.
According to GNS correspondent, hundreds of people led by Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, took out a rally from historical Jamia Masjid after Friday prayers here against Pandit and Sainik Colonies and also against New Industrial Policy.
The rally participants raised pro-freedom, pro-Islam and anti-India slogans and also against the controversial proposals of State Government. The protesters were holding flags of Pakistan and Lashkar-e-Toiba and also chanted slogans in favour of militant outfits.
Eyewitnesses told GNS that as the protest rally was underway, clashes between groups of youths and government forces erupted in Nowhatta with police using dozens of teargas and pepper grenade canisters against the stone-throwing protesters.
The clashes later intensified to Khwaja Bazar, Rajouri Kadal and Gojwara and police resorted to pellet gunfire. Police sources told GNS that that several youths sustained injuries due to pellets and teargas shells and one of them was hospitalized for treatment. “However all of them are stable,” said the sources.
The clashes in parts of Old City resulted in closure of shops while transport was also diverted on alternate routes. The clashes between youths and forces men continued for several hours. However there was no report of anyone being detained.
Hurriyat Conference (G) leaders also staged a protest at Hyderpora on city outskirts while a spokesman of the amalgam said that the protests were also held at Ganderbal and Anantnag.
Meanwhile, protests and clashes also broke out at Anantnag Town following a protest rally against the upcoming by polls in the Anantnag constituency and setting up of Pandit and Sainik colonies.  Witnesses said that youths took to streets and staged a demonstration a Reshi Bazar near Hanfia Jamia Masjid in Anantnag.
The protesters shouted slogans in favour of Azadi and Islam and marched from Ahle-Hadith Jamia Masjid to Lal Chowk in the town. The protesters later clashed with forces during which some youths were injured. Earlier, the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front leaders staged rally against upcoming polls and urged people to stay away from these polls.
Mirwaiz condemns police action
Hurriyat (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Friday condemned the police action on protesters in various areas of downtown Srinagar.
“Morwaiz Muhammad Umar Farooq has strongly condemned the brutal use of force by government forces in various areas of old city especially around Jamia Masjid, Srinagar in which a number of persons have got injured,” said a spokesman.
Mirwaiz described the police action as “completely fascist and dictatorial”.
He alleged that the government was using force to harass and coerce into submission the population of Srinagar.
Malik detained ahead of poll boycott rally
Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) Chief Yasin Malik was detained by police in Pampore on Srinagar-Jammu highway on Friday to prevent him from addressing an election boycott rally in Anantnag town.
The Anantnag assembly seat, which fell vacant after the demise of then Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed, is going to polls on June 22.
A JKLF spokesman said: “Muhammad Yasin Malik has been arrested by police just now at Pampore. He along with a team was going towards Islamabad where he was scheduled to address an election boycott rally at Lal Chowk Islamabad.”
JKLF and Hurriyat (G) have called for the boycott of by-poll where Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti is contesting against NC’s Iftikhar Misghar and others.