At least six persons, including four securitymen, were injured when militants exploded a hand grenade after a clash between law enforcing agencies and a violent mob in downtown city on Friday.
The grenade was hurled by militants at a joint gathering of CRPF and police at Saraf Kadal chowk in the vicinity of the historic Jamia Masjid around 4.20 PM, police sources said.
They said the security men had assembled near a CRPF picket after charging on a stone-pelting mob, which was chanting pro-freedom and anti-establishment slogans when the attack took place.
Prior to the grenade explosion, a pistol shot was also heard in the area, the sources said, adding that the grenade attack left six persons including three CRPF personnel and a policeman injured, the sources said.
They said the whole area was immediately cordoned off by the security forces and a hunt has been launched to nab the militants involved in the attack.
No militant outfit has so far claimed responsibility for the attack, which sparked off panic in the area which along with the adjacent Rajouri Kadal, Bohrikadal and Nowhatta localities witnessed violent clashes between the youth and security forces shortly after Friday prayers.
Four injured in the grenade blast have been identified as head constable Ashok Kumar and constable Santosh of CRPF, Constable Bilal Ahmad of local police and Shopkeeper Manzoor Ahmad Tramboo, the sources said adding condition of constable Bilal was stated to be "critical".
The sources said police fired dozens of teargas shells and used batons to disperse the stone-pelting mobs who took to streets shortly after chairman of moderate faction of Hurriyat Conference Mirwaiz Umer Farooq addressed a gathering at Rajouri Kadal after leading a procession from Jamia Masjid.
Criticising Chief Minister Omar Abdullah accusing separatists for encouraging violence, Mirwaiz hit back saying the economic progress and prosperity of the state espoused by him was not possible without resolution of Kashmir issue.
"The economic prosperity and progress talked about by the Chief Minister is not possible without resolution of Kashmir issue," he told the gathering.