Scores injured in clashes after Friday prayers

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Srinagar, May 25: Clashes erupted between youth and government forces in Srinagar’s Old City and Anantnag’s Lal Chowk after Friday prayers even as authorities allowed prayers at historic Jamia Masjid here.
According to reports, stone pelting clashes erupted in Nowhatta area of Old City and Lal Chowk in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district.
Scores of youths pelted stones on police and paramilitary CRPF in these areas. The forces retaliated by firing tear gas and pellets.
At least 20 youths suffered injuries in forces’ action during clashes in Srinagar.
Meanwhile, there were no restrictions in any part of Old City on Friday and the Jamia Masjid was also open for the public where thousands of people offered Friday prayers which was addressed by Hurriyat Conference (M) Mirwaiz Umer Farooq.
Police Version
“Today was the 2nd Friday of the holy month of Ramadhan and police personnel were deployed in the area to facilitate the worshipers and prevent any untoward incident in the area,” a police spokesman in a statement issued here said.
As soon as the Friday prayers concluded a huge gathering of youth started bradishing antinational flags /banners and started heavy stone pelting on Security forces who were deployed away from the Jamia Masjid near Nowhatta Chowk, the spokesman said
“During stone pelting dozens of CRPF/police personnel including SDPO Khanyar, SHO Nowhatta got injured. One of the CRPF personnel namely HC JD Gurcharan Singh F/28 suffered grievous head injury. Then miscreants about 700 to 800 in number assembled near the main gate of Jamia masjid and again started heavy stone pelting on the security forces,” the spokesman said.
However, security forces showed utmost restraint and some ammunition was used to disperse the miscreants and hence minimal force was used to control the situation, the spokesman said.
In this connection FIR No 16/2018 p/s Nowhatta u/s 147,148,152,307,427 RPC has been registered & investigation taken up, he added.(GNS)