Over 30 persons, nine of them policemen, were injured in clashes with the police here on Thursday. The protests, which have been on since Tuesday, erupted over the death of a 22-year-old youth, Arif, who was hit by a tear-gas shell fired by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).
The uptown locality of Batawara and Pampore also burst in protests against the death of a youth, Shafat Ahmad Ganai, who was hit by an army vehicle. Another youth, Mohammad Ashraf Shaikh, was critically injured. Police said that the injured was being treated in Badamai Bagh army hospital.
Shafat and Ashraf were travelling on a motorcycle, when an army vehicle hit them outside Badami Bagh army base. Critically injured, they were immediately rushed to the army hospital. Shafat died in the hospital.
Raising slogans, hundreds of residents hit the roads at Batawara outside the army headquarters, accusing the driver of recklessness.
As the body of Shafat reached his hometown Pampore, the residents blocked traffic on the Srinagar-Jammu highway. The police used tear-gas shells and batons to quell the protests. The protestors retaliated by pelting stones.
Syed Ali Geelani, chairman of the hard-line faction of the Hurriyat Conference, alleged that the CRPF were using “weapons meant for combat purposes” against civilian protestors. He asked for “peaceful” protests.
Geelani also called for candle-lit protests after evening prayers to avoid disruptions in business and human activity.