Aid : émeute à Srinagar – 11 septembre 2010

Violent protests in Srinagar after Eid prayers

11 sept 2010

Rampaging mobs on Saturday set on fire some public properties including the Crime Branch office and a police guard post in Hazratbal Shrine as violence marred Eid-ul-Fitr celebrations in Srinagar city.

Police blamed activists of hard line faction of Hurriyat Conference led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Muslim league headed by underground separatist leader Masrat Alam Bhat for carrying out the incidents of arson as part of a pre-planned conspiracy to disrupt Eid celebrations.

Soon after a protest rally organised by separatist leaders at Lal Chowk, a group of youth barged into the office of Chief Engineer Power Development Department (PDD) near Exhibition Crossing here and set it on fire.

The adjacent building housing the Crime Branch office was also engulfed in flames within no time and the blaze spread rapidly as the building is mostly made of wood.

Police had been clearly instructed that there should be no firing on the mob. Several rounds were fired in air to disperse the mob and fire tenders were pressed into service to douse the flames.

Senior police officials led by Director General of Police (DGP) Kuldeep Khoda rushed to the spot to bring the situation under control.

So far, there are no reports of anyone getting injured in the firing incident.

The rally at Lal Chowk was organised jointly by several separatist leaders including Moderate Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, JKLF Chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik and acting chairman of hard line faction Nissar Hussain Rather.

The separatist activists hoisted several objectionable flags atop the clock tower. The tower, which was recently renovated by the Srinagar Municipal Corporation, suffered damage as several youth climbed atop it.

The Mirwaiz called for an half-an-hour sit in protest in the heart of the city and later left for his home despite assurances made by him that the crowd will disperse quietly after the sit-in.

During his Eid sermon at Eidgah, where thousands of people offered prayers, the Mirwaiz asked them to march to Lal Chowk to stage a 30-minute protest against the recent killing of people in Kashmir.

Earlier, a mob set on fire a police barrack and a vehicle of the police department outside the Harzratbal Shrine on the banks of the Dal lake here following which security forces had to open fire.

Soon after Eid-ul-Fitr prayers, a group of people attacked the police barrack in the lawns of Hazratbal and set it on fire. They also set ablaze a police vehicle.

Police opened fire to disperse the mob and prevent any further damage to public property, they said adding seven persons including three cops were hurt in the clashes.

Police spokesman said activists of hardline faction of Hurriyat Conference led by Geelani and Muslim League disrupted Eid prayers at Hazaratbal and set afire the Auqaf building housing the policemen and a police vehicle.

“Timely and prompt action of the fire service and police stopped the fire from spreading. The mob was dispersed. However, the situation is tense,” he said and accused the Mirwaiz of aggravating the situation by “leading a procession to Lal Chowk, taking the advantage of the Eid congregation.

“He (the Mirwaiz) has vitiated the Eid celebration in Srinagar”, the spokesman said, adding the administration and police were exercising maximum restraint and have appealed to the people to cooperate with the administration.

The police spokesman said the workers of the Hurriyat and Muslim League, who had in a pre-planned manner disrupted the peaceful prayers at Hazratbal, have been identified.

“Investigation reveals that these elements had planned in advance to provoke the administration and use the Eid congregating to disrupt festivities and create the misconception this was a popular movement,” he said.

The spokesman said the arrests at Kulgam on Thursday had found that “hardline Hurriyat Conference has been using hooligans to force people to participate in the strikes and protests.”

“This is for the first time that an Eid congregation has been converted into protest and the people of Srinagar have not been allowed to celebrate Eid peacefully,” the spokesman said, adding it seems that people by and large are being held hostage by elements with vested interests.

Meanwhile, traffic police posts at Jahangir Chowk and Regal chowk were also set on fire. The plastic road dividers, used by the traffic police for regulating traffic, were also torched at many places.

Curfew in Srinagar, FIR against Mirwaiz

Srinagar, September 12, 2010

Authorities imposed an indefinite curfew in Srinagar and other Jammu and Kashmir towns on Sunday, a day after the city saw widespread violent protests following Eid prayers. An FIR was registered against moderate separatist leader Mirwaiz Umer Farooq for inciting violence, officials said.

A senior police official said imposition of curfew had become necessary in the wake of the massive violence that followed a separatist march in Srinagar on Saturday that was led by the Mirwaiz, chairman of the moderate Hurriyat group, and Muhammad Yasin Malik, chairman of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front.

A first information report (FIR) has been lodged against the Mirwaiz for inciting people to violence, the officer said.

Asked whether the Mirwaiz would be arrested, he said: “The law will take it own course.”

Indefinite curfew was also imposed in north Kashmir Baramulla and Sopore towns and south Kashmir Anantnag and Pulwama towns.

Srinagar saw unprecedented violence on Saturday after mass Eid prayers as hundreds of youth shouted pro-freedom slogans and attacked police and government buildings.

As the prayers ended at the Sufi shrine of Hazratbal on Saturday morning, thousands egged on by the Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik marched to the city centre Lal Chowk, indulging in arson attacks.

While the police and paramilitary personnel refrained from firing at the mobs so as not to kill civilians, the crowds went on an arson spree, starting right from the Hazratbal shrine where police barracks within the complex were set on fire.

Later, smaller groups torched the building of the state electricity department and offices of the Crime Branch of the Jammu and Kashmir Police.

Clashes mar Eid celebrations in Kashmir valley

Mizoram Express Nation

Sep 11, 2010 8 views

Violent protests and clashes marred Eid celebrations in Kashmir valley. After congression prayers, mobs resorted to protests and stone pelting at several places including Hazratbal area.

The irate mob set ablaze the police post and a vehicle in Hazratbal and a government office complex in Lal Chowk area. Briefing newsmen, the Director General of state police, Mr. Kuldeep Khoda said that Police exercised restraint and resorted to aerial firing without injuring anyone.

State Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has accused the Chairman of moderate Hurriyat Conference Mirwaiz Umer Farooq of going back on their assurance of peaceful march to Lal chowk, when they asked for permission. He said today’s protests were uncalled for as people wanted to celebrate Eid.

He said, the violence like today’s will result in a setback for any initiative to break the impasse.

Eid Festival Sparks Protests, Clashes in Kashmir

11 09 2010

Tens of thousands of protesters have taken to the streets of Indian Kashmir, some setting fire to a police station and other government offices.

Protesters filed into the streets of the main city of Srinagar following prayers for the Muslim festival of Eid-al-Fitr Saturday, many waving green flags and chanting, « Go India, go back, » and, « We want freedom. »

Following the violence, police tried to disperse the crowds by opening fire with live ammunition and tear gas.  No casualties have been confirmed.

For the past three months, Kashmir has been gripped by nearly daily protests against Indian rule.  At least 69 demonstrators have been killed in the unrest, many after security forces opened fire on stone-throwing crowds.

Officials in Kashmir blamed separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq for inciting the violence when he called for Kashmiris to join the protests during prayers marking the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

Earlier on Saturday, officials released fellow separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani.

Indian police arrested Geelani earlier this week after he threatened to intensify protests against Indian rule.

Various Muslim separatist groups in Kashmir have been waging a decades-long struggle for independence from India or a merger with Muslim-majority Pakistan.

~ par Alain Bertho sur 12 septembre 2010.

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