Anti-election protests in Kashmir after Friday prayers; two held



    Junaid Shafeeq

    Srinagar: Scores of protesters on Friday staged a protest against upcoming Parliamentary bye elections in Valley and clashed with government forces in many areas of Kashmir region.

    According to reports, dozens of pro-freedom activists converged outside historic Jamia Masjid in Old City’s Nowhatta area after offering Friday prayers and staged pro-freedom and anti-election protests. The protesters were also holding posters calling for boycott of the elections.

    The Hurriyat activists also shouted slogans against State Government for detaining resistance leadership including Mirwaiz Umar Farooq. Soon after the protest, some youths pelted stones on policemen deployed in the area. However unlike past Fridays the situation remained peaceful. Two youth were injured when police used teargas shells on youths pelting stones at Soura on government forces.

    The clashes also erupted at Sopore area of Baramulla district. As soon as Friday prayers culminated at Jamia Masjid Sopore, dozens of youth took to streets and staged pro-freedom and anti-election protests. The youths resorted to heavy stonepelting on government forces. The forces retaliated by firing teargas shells. The situation in the area was tense till evening.

    Police arrested one Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front activist today in Abi Guzar area when he was circulating anti-election posters, reports said. According to the reports, the JKLF as part of the election boycott campaign distributed anti-poll posters at many places of Valley. Similar posters were being distributed at Abi Guzar but police swung into action and detained one of the JKLF activists. The party has condemned the arrest.

    Meanwhile, police have arrested a man along with election boycott posters in Awantipora today. “Acting on a tip off, Awantipora Police arrested a suspect identified as Mohammad Yousuf Wani son of Abdul Gani resident of Brah Bandina and recovered a huge number of Election boycott posters from his possession, meant to be distributed among the trouble mongers, so as to create panic among local population of the area,” police said.

    “Awantipora police has registered a case FIR No. 30/17 under section 171 C-1 RPC 13 ULA in Police Station Awantipora in this regard  and investigation has been taken up,” the police added. (With inputs from GNS)