The Ministry of Home Affairs on Tuesday admitted that there was a stone pelting incident in Srinagar after afternoon prayers at a local mosque on Friday, August 9. The ministry said authorities showed restraint in their response and “no bullets have been fired” in Jammu and Kashmir since the state lost its special status last week.
Reports about firing by security personnel during large protests in the Kashmir Valley on Friday afternoon have appeared in Reuters, Al Jazeera, BBC and The Washington Post. But the ministry had so far refuted the reports.
The reports had said demonstrators carried black flags and banners saying “we want freedom” and “abrogation of Article 370 is not acceptable”. According to Reuters, a large group of protestors had gathered in Srinagar’s Soura area, and was pushed back by security personnel at Aiwa bridge using tear gas and pellets. The report put the number of those injured in Soura at 12. According to The Washington Post, at least eight protestors were injured in firing by security personnel.
In its denial on Saturday, the Ministry of Home Affairs had claimed the reports were “completely fabricated and incorrect”. “There have been a few stray protests in Srinagar/Baramulla and none involved a crowd of more than 20 people,” the ministry had said. The Jammu and Kashmir Police had also claimed that not a single bullet had been fired in the Valley since August 4.
On Tuesday, the ministry said that on August 9, “miscreants mingled with people returning home after prayers at a local mosque”, and “resorted to unprovoked stone pelting against law enforcement forces to cause widespread unrest”.
“Law enforcement authorities showed restraint and tried to maintain law and order situation,” the statement said. “It is reiterated that no bullets have been fired in #JammuAndKashmir since the development related to #Article370.”