Kashmir observes Friday to support Palestinians

  • Peerzada Ashiq, Hindustan Times, Srinagar
  • Updated: Jul 25, 2014 20:59 IST

Violent protests broke out in the Kashmir Valley, injuring scores of people on Friday, as thousands of devotees participated in mass rallies in support of Gaza.

Separatists had called upon the people to observe Friday, the last of the Islamic month of Ramzan, to observe it as 'Youm-e-Qudus' to express solidarity with the Palestinians and condemn Israeli action that left more than 800 people dead.
The authorities either arrested or put several separatist leaders under house arrest, including hardline Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Geelani and moderate Hurriyat leader Shabir Shah.

Addressing hundreds of devotees on Friday prayers, moderate Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq expressed surprise over "silence of the Muslim world, especially Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC) and the Arab League".

"The Muslim world is acting as a mute spectator over brutal massacre of innocent people in Gaza by Israel," said the Miwaiz in his sermon at the historic Jamia Masjid.

He asked Israel to stop killing innocent people in Gaza. "This Eid-ul-Fitar would be celebrated with simplicity in order to express solidarity with the suffering people of Gaza. The Kashmiris would continue to stand up alongside with the Palestinians," he said.

Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front chief Yasin Malik, who addressed a gathering at Chrar-e-Sharief, said, "The United Nations as a responsible forum has to wake up from its deep slumber and play its role in resolving the long-pending disputes, like Jammu and Kashmir and Palestine."

Geelani, who accused the authorities of stopping him from offering Friday prayers for the 15th time this year, condemned the police action.

Special prayers for Gaza were said at the Hazratbal shrine too.

The protesters clashed with police in Srinagar's Nowhatta and Pulwama's Tral area in south Kashmir. The security forces burst tear-smoke shells to disperse stone-throwing protesters. Several protesters and a senior police officer were injured in the clashes.

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