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Curfew eased in Srinagar for Friday prayers

Last updated on: July 09, 2010 22:16 IST

Violence erupted in the old city part of Srinagar as the authorities relaxed curfew this evening while 35 persons were injured in the post-Friday prayer clashes in other towns.

Authorities relaxed curfew this evening for 24 hours in view of the Muslim festival of Shab-e-Mehraj to enable people to join the night long prayers in the various mosques.

This is the first curfew relaxation in summer capital Srinagar and other towns since it was imposed on Tuesday evening.

However, immediately after the relaxation was announced violence broke out in the old city during which slogan-shouting youth took to streets in several localities and indulged in heavy stone pelting on the security forces.

Security forces initially used tear smoke and baton charges to disperse the protestors. However, as the violence escalated paramilitary, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) troopers fired rubber bullets injuring a youth identified as Anis Ahmad Mir.

Violence broke out in north Kashmir Baramulla, south Kashmir Kakpora, Pampore and Shopian towns while protests were also held in other towns after the Friday prayers.

Security forces fired rubber bullets in north Kashmir Baramulla town where curfew-like-restrictions were in force as mobs indulged in heavy stone pelting on the police critically injuring a youth who was rushed to Srinagar for specialized treatment.
The violence also left eleven cops including an officer wounded.

Security forces fired warning shots and resorted to repeated baton charges to disperse stone pelting mobs in the south Kashmir Kakpora town this afternoon.

Police said the mobs indulged in heavy stone pelting on the police and CRPF troopers injuring 23 persons including ten security men.

Police had to also use teargas and baton charges in Trehgam in north Kashmir Kupwara district, Buchwara in capital city.

Protests were also held outside various mosques in other towns.

Police swung into action in the Hazratbal locality to contain a sloganeering mob shouting pro-freedom slogans which later led to clash in the locality.

However, Friday prayers were offered at the shrine which houses the Holy relic of Prophet. Friday prayers could not be offered in the historic Jamia masjid and some other mosques across the Valley because of restrictions.

The authorities this afternoon issued curfew passes to the mediamen, allowing them to discharge their professional duties.

The Kashmir Valley went without newspapers for the second day today as the curfew passes of the media men had been cancelled.

The local press has in a statement 'denounced the government claim that restrictions on the media had been lifted' and announced suspension of their publication for tomorrow because of insufficient number of curfew passes having been issued to them and continued attacks on media.

The army is assisting the civil authorities in enforcing curfew and maintaining peace in the capital city.

The residents in Srinagar are facing acute shortages of essential commodities because of continued curfew restrictions in the city.

Mukhtar Ahmad In Srinagar