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Protests in Kashmir after Friday prayers

By Mukhtar Ahmad In Srinagar
October 17, 2008 22:06 IST
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Protests rocked the valley yet again on Friday after prayer on a call given by the separatist coordination committee, leaving over a dozen persons injured in the resultant police-protestor clashes.

Protestors in capital Srinagar and other major towns took to streets immediately after the Friday prayers shouting pro-freedom slogans.

While Friday's protests were by and large peaceful, sporadic violence broke out in parts of capital city this afternoon, prompting police to use anti-riot measures, like tear gas and baton charges.

A senior police officer said over a dozen persons including two policemen and four paramilitary troopers were injured in Friday's clashes at Maisuma, Nowhatta, Gojiwara localities in the summer capital. He, however, said no one was wounded critically. "The police exercised maximum restraint despite provocation by the stone pelting mobs."

The clashes in the old city and in Maisuma locality continued till sundown.

State authorities had made elaborate security arrangements deploying mixed contingents of paramilitary, central reserve police force and police in all the sensitive areas of the capital city to control the situation.

"I appeal the people to hold only peaceful protests. No one should indulge in stone pelting that gives the police a reason to fire at the protestors, causing loss of precious lives," Mirwaiz Moulvi Umar Farooq, chairman of the moderate All Parties Hurriyat Conference told the congregation at Srinagar's historic Jamia mosque in old city.

The separatist coordination committee has asked people to hold peaceful protests after prayers every Friday.

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Mukhtar Ahmad In Srinagar