Youths Indulge In Stone-Pelting In Kashmir Valley

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Srinagar: Groups of youth on Friday indulged in stone-pelting on law enforcing agencies at various places in Kashmir valley during separatist sponsored general strike.

The clashes between the youth and security forces took place shortly after Friday prayers at Jamia Masjid and adjoining localities in downtown Srinagar and Sopore township of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district, officials said. However, no one was injured in the clashes which were still continuing when last reports were received.

The separatist amalgam, comprising of both factions of Hurriyat Conference and JKLF, had called for a general strike and protests after Friday prayers as part of their agitation in support of their demand for right to self-determination and against the civilian killings last year. Normal life was disrupted across Kashmir in response to the strike call as shops and business establishments remained closed while public transport was minimal.

The separatists, who have now scaled down the strikes from five days a week to once a week, had on January 14 issued a fortnight protest programme till the end of this month, asking people to observe strike only on Fridays and January 26 as a “black day”.

The separatists are spearheading the agitation since the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in an encounter with security forces in south Kashmir on July 8 last year. The unrest in the Valley has left 86 people dead and thousands others, including 5,000 security personnel, injured.

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