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Cops pose as stone pelters to catch them

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Srinagar, Sep 07: Police today initiated a new strategy by planting its men among the stone-pelters in Nowhatta area to arrest the pelters in action.

As happens on each Friday after the congregational prayers at the historic Jamia Masjid in Nowhatta area of Srinagar downtown, a mob started pelting stones at police and CRPF deployments there. However, today police had changed its strategy – instead of charging batons at the stone-pelters or using tear-gas against them, some cops in civvies also posed as stone-pelters and mingled with the mob and even threw stones at the deployments.

As per the police, as the crowd swelled to over 100 people and two stone-pelters started leading the agitation, the first tear gas shell was lobbed at the mob dispersing them. Right then, two stone-pelters who were leading the mob, were grabbed by the policemen posing as stone-pelters, and whisked away in waiting vehicles.

The policemen, who disguised as stone-pelters, brandished toy guns to scare others while the duo was taken to the police station, a police official said.

He said surprised at the development, the stone-pelters ended the protest early today as they were caught unaware of the police strategy.

This strategy was earlier executed in 2010 when scores of policemen were deployed in the mob to identify and arrested stone-pelters in the area, the official said.

Meanwhile, PTI reported that police have arrested four people for allegedly fomenting trouble after congregational prayers in Nowhatta area Friday, an official spokesman said.

"At about 2 pm, after the culmination of Friday prayers at Jamia Masjid in Nowhatta, a group of miscreants started pelting stones on the deployments at the main gate of Jamia Masjid," he said.

Police officers deputed in the area arrested four men.

"A toy pistol was also recovered from one of the miscreants," he said.

A case was registered under relevant sections and a probe was underway, the spokesman added.

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