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Dozens injured in clashes in Srinagar downtown

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Mirwaiz blames deployment of forces for tension

Srinagar, May 25: Massive clashes between youth and the government forces erupted in Srinagar downtown after Friday prayers today, leaving dozens injured.

Witnesses said that people took out a rally soon after the culmination of congregational Friday prayers at the historic Jamia Masjid in Nowhatta Srinagar.

However, police and paramilitary forces deployed in the area fired tear-gas and pellets to foil the protest, triggering further clashes which left dozens of protestors injured.

Police spokesman in a statement said as soon as the Friday prayers concluded, “a huge gathering of youth started bradishing anti-national flags/banners and started heavy stone pelting on security forces who were deployed away from the Jamia Masjid near Nowhatta Chowk. “

During stone pelting, dozens of CRPF and police personnel including SDPO Khanyar, SHO Nowhatta got injured. One of the CRPF personnel – Head Constable JD Gurcharan Singh (F/28) suffered grievous head injury, police spokesman said.

He said “about 700 to 800 miscreants assembled near the main gate of Jamia Masjid and again started heavy stone pelting on the government forces.

Spokesman said even as the forces “showed utmost restraint, some munition was used to disperse the miscreants and hence minimal  force was used to control the situation.”

He said a case with FIR no. 16/2018 under sections 147, 148, 152, 307, 427 RPC has been registered in Police Station Nowhatta in this regard and investigation taken up.

Meanwhile, Hurriyat-M chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq who had earlier delivered the weekly sermon at the grand mosque, said the forces’ deployment outside the Jamia Masjid in Nowhatta leads to tension and agitation in the area.

“Heavy deployment of Govt forces around #JamaMasjid even in this holy month leading to tension& agitation. Dozens of civilians injured after forces resorted to pellet &teargas shelling!large number of people unable to come out of the mosque. Condemn the deployment and forces action (Sic),” Mirwaiz wrote on Twitter.

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