Two days after Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti directed police not to use pellets on protestors, at least 15 civilians were injured on Friday when forces fired pellets on protestors in various parts of Kashmir.
Shutdown was observed across Kashmir on the call of joint resistance leadership as all shops and commercial establishments remained closed while very thin transport plied on roads.
Massive clashes erupted in Nowhatta, Hawal, Gojwara, RajouriKadal and adjoining areas of Srinagar. Witnesses said that soon after culmination of Friday prayers at the historic Jamia Masjid, youth took to the streets amid pro-freedom slogans and resorted to massive protests. Forces fired dozens of tear gas shells at the protestors. Witnesses said that four youth sustained injuries in the forces' action.
Intense clashes also broke out in Batamaloo area of uptown where forces resorted to firing of dozens of tear gas and PAVA shells.
Reports from South Kashmir said that a protest demonstration was taken out after Friday prayers in Marhama village of Anantnag district, the native place of slain Hizb militant Engineer BasitRasool, who was killed by forces on Wednesday. The procession was lead by district secretary Tehreek-I-HurriyatFayaz Ahmad Dar- Tehsil President Bijbehara- Muzaffar Ahmad and Tehsil President AnnatnagAashiqHussain and Sabzar Ahmad. People were shouting pro-azadi, pro Burhan and pro-Basit slogans. The leaders addressed the gathering and paid tributes to Basit.
Several people were injured when violent clashes erupted between government forces and youth in Sangam and Bijbehra against the killing of Basit. "Youth pelted stones on forces who lobbed tear shells and fired pellets. Several youth sustained injuries, one of them critically," reports said. The condition of one of the injured youth was stated as critical, reports said. Clashes also erupted in Qazigund area of Anantnag district after Friday prayers.
Clashes erupted between protesters and forces at Hamdania market of Tral after Friday prayers. As soon as Friday prayers ended at KhankahFaizPanah, the government forces fired teargas shells. People alleged that there was no protest in the area however, forces unnecessarily fired teargas shells and some of the shells landed inside the Khankah compound. A protest rally was carried out by protestors from uptown Tral to bus stand. However, there was no immediate report of any injuries.
Reports from north Kashmir said that amid complete shutdown in Baramulla district, clashes between youths and police were reported from Sopore and old town Baramulla Friday afternoon. In Sopore, soon after Friday prayers clashes between youths and police were reported outside Jamia Masjid. Reports said that a 10-year old boy was seriously injured after a stone hit him in the head. He was immediately shifted to sub district hospital Sopore, where from he was referred to SKIMS in unconscious condition.
The boy was identified as Mursaleen Azad Dar son of Azad Ahmed Dar of Batpora, Sopore.
Minor clashes between youths and police were also reported from old town Baramulla. These clashes erupted soon after Friday prayers as some youths on Khanpora bridge pelted stones at police. However, situation returned to normal after some time.
Reports from Central Kashmir's Ganderbal district said that forces remained deployed outside Jamia Masjids of the major towns including Kangan, Beehama and Dudarhama. However there were no reports of protests from any part of the district. Police said that the deployment was in place as a precautionary measure.
(With inputs from Altaf Baba, Khalid Gul, Irfan Amin Malik, Ghulam Muhammad, Sheikh Nazir)