Massive clashes erupted in several old Srinagar areas on Monday against the killing of a youth by paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force in HMT area on Saturday—the day Prime Minister Narendra Modi was in the summer capital to address a rally. Protests were also held in Kashmir University campus and Government Medical College Srinagar, against the killing that has evoked widespread condemnation.
Groups of youth hit streets in Nowhatta, Gojwara, Saraf Kadal and Bohri Kadal areas of old Srinagar and urged shopkeepers to down shutters for the day in protest against the killing of Gowhar Nazir Dar at Zainakote HMT on Saturday, a police official said.
He said cops instantly swung into action and tried to stop the youth from "enforcing the shutdown." This triggered massive clashes in which at least 20 people, including a J&K Bank manager and few cops, were injured, he said.
The protesting youth, at least 300 and mostly masked, were raising slogans like 'HMT Chalo'.
A heavy contingent of police and paramilitary forces fired dozens of teargas shells to disperse the protesters. Police claimed a group of youth hurled stones at a vehicle near Hawal in which a senior manager of J&K Bank, travelling towards SKIMS Soura for a health checkup, was injured. "The manager and his driver got injured in the stone pelting while their vehicle also suffered some damage," said Superintendent of Police Hazratbal, Rayees Ahmed. A CRPF spokesman in Srinagar Bhavesh Choudhary alleged that youth attacked two of their camps with stones and bricks at Saraf Kadal and Kawdara.
PROTESTS AT KU, GMC
Protests were held at Kashmir University campus and Government Medical College Srinagar against the killing of Gowhar. At KU campus, reports said, students raised pro-freedom slogans and demanded stringent punishment to killers of Gowhar. They marched in the campus before holding a sit-in outside Humanities Block.
The students, who also shouted anti-government slogans, strongly condemned killing of the youth.
"We strongly denounce such cold-blooded murders," the protesters said. Some students raised pro-Pakistan and anti-India slogans as well, witnesses said. Doctors and students of GMC Srinagar offered funeral prayers in absentia for the slain youth.