At least 15 people, including seven security personnel, were injured in various parts of Srinagar on Wednesday, as clashes broke out between policemen and youths protesting the death of a teenager in teargas shelling on Sunday.
The clashes between angry mobs and the police, assisted by the Central Reserve Police Force, were going on at over a dozen places in Srinagar. Over 30 people were detained by the police during night raids from various areas, official sources said.
The protests continued for the third day today despite stringent security arrangements. In view of the tense situation, shops and business establishments remained closed and vehicles remained off the roads.
Two young protestors, who were directly hit by teargas shells, are in a critical state after undergoing surgeries in a hospital.
The two youths were injured in the old city areas of Nowhatta and Nawakadal where mobs and security forces clashed multiple times today.
A separatist-sponsored general strike was observed in the city on Tuesday. Reports of clashes between groups of youth and policemen were also received from Baramulla in northern Kashmir and Anantnag and Shopian district towns in southern Kashmir today morning, but life returned to normal as the day advanced, the sources said.
The police fired warning shots, used rubber bullets and burst teargas shells to disperse stone-pelting mobs at Nowhatta, Gojwara, Safakadal and Sakidaffer in downtown Srinagar.
The youths were protesting the death of 13-year-old Wamik Farooq, a resident of Rainawari, who was hit by a teargas shell on his head at Rajouri Kadal in Srinagar, during a clash between a mob and the police on Sunday. He later died in a hospital.
At least 100 people, including 30 police and paramilitary personnel, have been injured in clashes between stone-pelting youths and law enforcement personnel in the last two days.
Areas in downtown Srinagar witnessed intense clashes for the third day today, resulting in injuries to two policemen and four protestors, the sources said. Station House Officer of Nowhatta police station Raja Tasleem was also injured when a CRPF personnel allegedly hit him with a baton, while he was trying to save a boy from being roughed up.
The police and CRPF personnel also fired teargas shells and used batons to disperse a procession taken out by mourners at Rainawari area of interior city, shortly after chairman of the moderate faction of Hurriyat Conference Mirwaiz Umer Farooq visited the residence of the deceased boy, the sources said.
The sources said personnel of the Border Road Organisation opened fire in the air when a group of youths pelted stones on one of their vehicles at Rawalpora, on the outskirts of the city today afternoon, resulting in injuries to a jawan.
However, the protestors escaped as police reinforcements were sent to the spot to restore law and order, they said. The sources said seven persons, including three security personnel, were injured in clashes in Batmaloo, Bemina, Kak Sarai, Chattabal, Karan Nagar, Maisuma, Rambagh and Natipora in Srinagar. Police and paramilitary forces have been deployed across the city.
Residents of some areas alleged that the CRPF personnel were not allowing them out of their houses, claiming that a curfew was in place. However, the police denied imposition of curfew in any part of the city, but said strict instructions have been given to enforce prohibitory orders.
The sources said over 30 youths have been detained by the police from their houses during raids in several parts of the city. The youths were picked up from different parts of the city including Nowhatta, Gojwara, Bohrikadal and Barzalla, the sources said.
Meanwhile, the residents of some areas accused the security personnel of smashing window panes of houses and parked vehicles, besides roughing up youths.
"There are some complaints of smashing of window panes and parked vehicles. We are looking into these complaints," a police officer said.
Baramulla, 55 km away from Srinagar, witnessed clashes after police personnel allegedly roughed up pedestrians, officials said. However, senior police officers led by Deputy Inspector General Abdul Qayoom Manhas reached the spot and assured action against the erring policemen, they said.
Shops and business establishments remained closed in Shopian to protest the 'high-handedness' of the police during Tuesday's clashes.
With inputs from Mukhar Ahmad in Srinagar