Valley celebrates Eid; 40 injured in clashes

Adil Lateef

Srinagar, Sept 25: Eid-ul-Adha was celebrated with austerity and religious fervor in Kashmir valley today while post-congregation stone-throwing clashes at various places left 40 persons including 9 police personnel  and three scribes injured. The internet services in the Valley remained suspended while separatists were also detained.

Thousands of people offered prayers at Eidgah ground in downtown city here in the morning. The worshippers include men, women and children. The second largest gathering of people was witnessed at Dargah Hazratbal Shrine, which is located along the banks of Dal lake. The Eid congregations were also held at other shrines, mosques and open grounds in city and elsewhere.

Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed offered Eid prayers at Syed Sahab Sonwar shrine, which is just a kilometer away from his residence in highly fortified Gupkar area.

“After Nimaz, Mufti Sayeed shook hands and shared Eid greetings with the people. He also extended good wishes to them and prayed for peace, prosperity and progress of Jammu and Kashmir State,” the official spokesman said.

Apprehending trouble and widespread violence, the police had made stringent security arrangements across the Valley.

However, clashes between police and protesters broke out at multiple places in the Valley after Eid prayers were over.

The violent clashes between hundreds of stone-throwing protesters and security forces broke out at Eidgah area of downtown this morning. The protesters waved flags of Islamic State (IS), Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) outfits and Pakistan during the clashes. Witnesses said that hundreds of police and paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) who were deployed in strength resorted to massive teargas shelling against the stone-throwers. The clashes in the area created panic and tension while people were seen running towards safer places. In the clashes, several persons including three scribes were injured.

The clashes later spread to adjoining areas of Nawakadal, Sekidaffar, Narwara and Safakadal. The authorities summoned additional contingents of police and paramilitary forces to contain the situation and stop further escalation.

In Anantnag district of south Kashmir, clashes broke out between police and protesters soon after Eid congregation prayers at multiple places. Sources and witnesses said that groups of youth clashed with security forces at more than half-a-dozen places in Main Town of Anantnag which include Lal Chowk and Sherbagh area. During clashes, several protesters including a police officer sustained injuries.

Although the other parts of Valley witnessed calm, but clashes between police and protesters broke out at Sopore and Palhallan areas of Baramulla district in north Kashmir after Friday prayers. Police used teargas shells to disperse the protesters. In Vilgam village of Kupwara district, youth pelted stones on police after Eid prayers.

A police officer wishing anonymity told Excelsior that 40 persons including 9 policemen and 3 scribes were injured in various stone-pelting incidents in Valley today.

Meanwhile, police detained separatist leaders and their activists to stop them taking out protest marches after Eid prayers. Sources said the three top separatist leaders including Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik were placed under house-detention and were not allowed to offer Eid prayers. The second rung separatists were also placed under house-detention or taken into custody.


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