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J&K: Separatists hold rallies, students boycott classes

August 21, 2008 14:58 IST

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Police on Thursday fired teargas shells to disperse protesters in Srinagar [Images] while separatists staged rallies in several parts of Kashmir Valley, which remained peaceful for the third consecutive day after weeks of violence over the Amarnath land row.

Hundreds of students of various schools boycotted their classes and staged a peaceful march at Lal Chowk, the nerve centre of the city, officials said.

The students, who shouted 'pro-freedom' slogans, hoisted a green flag atop a clock tower and later assembled at Pratap Park to offer special prayers.

Police fired a few teargas shells and used mild baton charge to disperse protesters at Munawarabad in interior city as they tried to march towards the local office of United Nations Military Observers Group in Srinagar, officials said.

No one was hurt in police action, they said adding no arrests were made.

Groups of youths staged separate marches through Lal Chowk and adjoining areas since early Thursday and later dispersed peacefully, officials said.

Shops and business establishments, meanwhile, remained open throughout the valley and transport was plying normally as the valley remained calm for the third day on Thursday after weeks of violence that left 22 people dead.

The Kashmir-based Coordination Committee which is spearheading the agitation against land transfer to Amarnath Shrine Board had suspended the strike for three days but asked people to stage peaceful protests in their localities.

Peaceful demonstrations were also witnessed throughout Srinagar and other district headquarters in the valley Wednesday evening, sources said.

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