Over 100 injured at Srinagar’s Grand Mosque clashes, Traders call for shutdown

Representative image

Over 100 persons including women and children were wounded after youth clashed with government forces at the Grand Mosque in Nowhatta Srinagar after congregational Friday prayers.

Devotees alleged that Government Forces barged inside Jamia Masjid and fired tear-smoke shells and pellets on them. The Forces action according to devotees and traders left more than 100 persons including women and children wounded.

Mirwaiz Umar Farooq blamed Forces presence for the tension and clashes around Jamia Masjid Nowhatta.“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,” Mirwaiz tweeted.

Eyewitnesses said that clashes erupt shortly after the culmination of Friday prayers at historical Jamia Masjid when youth pelted stones on deployed forces. They added that Forces personnel lobbed tear-smoke shells and fired pellets to disperse the protesters who pelted stones on them.

Javaid Ahmed, President Jamia Market Traders Federation told news agency CNS that over 40 thousand devotees including women and children had assembled at Jamia Masjid to offer Friday prayers. “As usual groups of youth protested and pelted stones on Forces personnel outside Jamia Masjid but this time, CRPF and Police jointly emerged on the gates of Jamia Masjid and targeted devotees inside Masjid. They fired pellets and tear-gas shells that hit even women and children. More than 100 persons suffered injuries. Blood was spilled on the floor of the Masjid,” he said.

“Different traders bodies including Jamia Market Traders Federation, Central Traders and Manufacturing Association, Beopar Mandal MR Ganj and other Bazar Committees have decided to observe a complete shutdown on Saturday. Traders and locals will assemble at Jamia Masjid and a peaceful protest will be held at 11 am on Nowhatta Chowk,” he said.

Meanwhile, Jammu Kashmir Police issued a statement stating that it 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.

“As soon as the Friday prayers concluded a huge gathering of youth started brandishing antinational flags /banners and started heavy stone pelting on SFs who were deployed away from the Jamia Masjid near Nowhatta Chowk.”

“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 & again started heavy stone pelting on the SFs.”

The police spokesperson said that security forces showed utmost restraint and some munitions were used to disperse the miscreants & hence minimal force was used to control the situation.” (CNS)

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