Clashes erupted in several parts of Jammu and Kashmir on Friday. Separatists and trade bodies had called for protests even though authorities had imposed restrictions to maintain law and order.
The state has been tense since Sunday when 19 people – 12 militants, three Army personnel and four civilians – were killed in three separate gunfights in South Kashmir’s Shopian and Anantnag districts.
On Friday, dozens of students and doctors at Government Medical College in Srinagar held a demonstration against the South Kashmir killings. They said they were also protesting against authorities using pump action guns to fire pellets at protestors.
“We condemn the use of pellets, we can’t stand the heart-wrenching sight of youth who are brought here for treatment,” The Greater Kashmir quoted a doctor as saying.
In South Kashmir’s Pulwama district, a youth was reportedly injured in clashes with authorities that broke out after Friday prayers. Local reports said the youth pelted an Army vehicle with stones and was injured when the forces fired rounds in the air in retaliation. But an unidentified police spokesperson denied the reports.
“The news is baseless and is strongly rebutted,” he said. “We request citizens not to fall prey to any speculations and rumours that are intended to disturb peace.”
A station house officer was injured in a stone-pelting incident in Srinagar’s Nigeen area on Friday morning.
Similar clashes broke out in the Palhallan area of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district on Friday afternoon. People reportedly began protesting on the streets against the killings across Kashmir, but police and paramilitary forces stopped the protesters and fired tear-gas shells to disperse them, The Greater Kashmir reported.
Separatists, trade bodies call strike
State authorities on Friday imposed restrictions under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedue which prohibits more than four people assembling in an area.
Several parts of Kashmir, including in the summer capital Srinagar, are under the restrictions after separatists and trade bodies called for a strike against the violence.
Schools and colleges across the valley were shut on Friday, shops had their shutters down and public transport was sparse, PTI reported.
The separatists, under the banner of the Joint Resistance Leadership, asked people to join the protests, while trade bodies such as the Kashmir Economic Alliance and Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation have also supported the move.