Monday, 9 December 2019

Clashes mar Eid festivities in Kashmir

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SRINAGAR: At least 10 people were injured in India-held Kashmir (IHK) after occupational forces used force to quell protests on Eid day, according to Indian media reports.

More than 50,000 people gathered for prayers at the Hazratbal shrine and over 40,000 at the Eidgah mosque. Youths started hurling stones at security forces as the masses poured onto the streets. Many waved Pakistan flags.

The security forces used tear smoke shells and pellet shotguns to disperse the protesters.

Witnesses and official sources said over a dozen demonstrators sustained injuries in the action by the security forces.

Clashes were also reported in various parts of IHK on Monday, including Sopore, Anantnag, Rajpora, Shopian and Srinagar’s Safakadal area.

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Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said the police “are showing maximum restraint because they think they are dealing with their own people”.

Indian government troops, backed by local police in IHK, maintain security throughout the valley. As tensions run high in the region, local police have been advised to avoid offering Eid prayers in isolated or general mosques or Eidgahs, according to a police advisory, days after a police officer was beaten to death by an angry mob outside a mosque after he had been for a spy or assassin.

The victim, Mohammed Ayub Pandith, the deputy superintendent for the security wing of the Jammu and Kashmir state police, had gone to a mosque in Srinagar, the Jamia Masjid, on Thursday for prayers on Shab-e-Qadr. Prominent religious leader and freedom leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was giving a sermon.

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