Protests in Kashmir after Eid prayers, separatist leaders under house arrest

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Srinagar
  • Updated: Jul 06, 2016 16:59 IST
Kashmiri men offer prayers on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr at Eidgah in Srinagar on Wednesday. (Waseem Andrabi/ HT Photo)

Eid-ul-Fitr was celebrated in Kashmir on Wednesday even as clashes between anti-India protesters and security personnel rocked the Muslim-majority Valley.

Late on Tuesday night, it was announced that Eid-ul-Fitr will be celebrated in the militancy-hit Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday, a day ahead of other Indian states, barring Kerala. The celebration coincided with that in Pakistan and Arab countries.

In Srinagar, thousands of Muslims gathered at Eidgah prayer ground and Hazratbal shrine to offer prayers, while smaller gatherings were reported from around the town. Chief minister Mehbooba Mufti offered prayers in Hazratbal.

Soon after the prayers, stone-pelting incidents were reported from Eidgah and Hyderpora areas of Srinagar and the south Kashmiri town of Anantnag.

Youngsters had come out shouting anti-India slogans and raising Pakistani flags, while forces retaliated by firing tear-gas shells.

In the clashes across the Valley, reports said a total of six persons -- including a senior police officer, a constable and a video-journalist -- were injured.

Kashmiri top separatist leaders, including Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik, were under house arrest and barred from offering public prayers. Officials said their presence might have led to protests and violence at the large Eid gatherings.

A statement by the Geelani-led faction of the Hurriyat said several top leaders such as Shabir Ahmad Shah, Mohammad Ashraf Sehrai and spokesperson Ayaz Akbar too were under house arrest and barred from offering the Eid prayers.

Geelani, in a press statement on Tuesday, had called for peaceful protest demonstration immediately after the Eid prayers, against “the surveillance of clerics, not banning the liquor in Kashmir, not releasing the political prisoners and harassment of the Jammu Muslims”.

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