Clashes rock Nowhatta after Friday prayers

At least five youth sustained pellet injuries in clashes that broke out in Nowhatta area of downtown after Friday congregational prayers at historic Jamia Masjid.

According to eye-witnesses clashes intensified after youth fought pitched battle with the security forces soon after Friday prayers ended.

Chaotic scenes were witnessed inside the Masjid as women, children and elderly were seen crying for help and running for safety, the witnesses said.

They said as the prayers ended, youth raised slogans in favour of Islam and Kashmir. “Within no time, massive clashes broke outside at the entry/exit gates of Jamia Masjid,” said a witness, who offered prayers there.

He said the forces fired pellets and tear gas shells to disperse the protestors. “This triggered a chaos and people were running in all directions for safety,” said a worshipper, Riyaz Ahmad.

He said it was after almost an hour that worshippers managed to come out of the Jamia.

Another witness said that at least five youth sustained pellet injuries in the forces action.

Talking to Greater Kashmir, senior superintendent of police (SSP) Srinagar Haseeb Mughal said that police used “minimum force” to disperse protestors. “There was a massive crowd which resorted to sloganeering first and then pelted forces with the stones. Only two youth sustained pellet injuries and both of them are stable,” he said.