Supporters of separatist leader Yasin Malik clashed with security forces in South Kashmir’s Shopian district on Friday after the Jammu and Kashmir Police detained the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front chief who reached the place earlier in the day, Greater Kashmir reported.
The police took Malik into custody as he was leaving Jamia Masjid. After the Friday prayers, he was supposed to lead a protest march against the deaths of civilians in the Valley over the week.
Rayees Ahmed Ganai, a 23-year-old man who sustained a bullet injury in the head during clashes with the Indian Army, died on Wednesday. Two others – 20-year-old Javid Ahmad Bhat and 24-year-old Suhail Javid Lone – had died in the firing, which the Army had claimed was in self defence.
The Greater Kashmir report quoted an unidentified witness as saying that Malik’s supporters began to pelt stones at the police soon after they detained him. In response, the security forces lobbed tear gas shells at protestors.
The Joint Resistance Leadership – an alliance of separatist leaders in Jammu and Kashmir – had called for the “Shopian Chalo” protest on Friday against the civilian killings. Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, the chief of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference was placed on house arrest after the protest was called. He was taken into custody on Friday morning while trying to leave his house, The Hindu reported.
Authorities imposed restrictions in parts of Srinagar and Shopian to prevent the protest. Train services from Banihal to Baramulla have been suspended, and security restrictions have been imposed in areas under the jurisdictions of six police stations in Srinagar.