Stone pelters target ex-Minister, MLA

At least a dozen persons including two cops were injured as stone-pelting clashes and protests erupted across Kashmir valley after Friday prayers against recent civilian killings during an encounter at Chadoora area of Central Kashmir district of Budgam. The stone-throwers in separate incidents attacked house of Shopian MLA and vehicle of former NC Minister in South Kashmir.
As soon as the Friday prayers were over in Srinagar areas, hundreds of youths and separatist activists protested against killing of three youths at Chadoora in security forces firing.
In Maisuma, police resorted to teargas shelling as youth protesters pelted stones on security forces, ensuing clashes, which continued for more than hour. The clashes in the area affected business and transport activities.
The clashes also raged in Nowhatta area of downtown city after Friday prayers. However, due to heavy deployment of security forces since morning, the situation was brought under control by police instantly. The stone-pelting clashes also erupted at Noorbagh, Nowgam, Rainwari, Zampa Kadal, Habba Kadal and Batamaloo areas.
Heavy clashes between protesters and security forces erupted at Rawalpora, Bagh-e-Mehtab, Nowgam, Rangreth and Natipora areas on city outskirts here. The protesters at Rawalpora and Bagh-e-Mehtab climbed railway track and rained stones on security forces who responded by lobbing teargas shells. One photojournalist identified as Abid Bhat was injured in these clashes and he was shifted to hospital for medical aid where he received six stitches.
Due to clashes on railway track, the Banihal-Baramulla rail service was suspended by authorities.
In Memandar village of Shopian district in South Kashmir, stone-throwers attacked the house of incumbent MLA Shopian Mohammad Yusuf Bhat with stones and damaged window panes and glasses. However, no one was injured in the incident. The stone-pelters also damaged the vehicle of former National Conference Minister Bashir Ahmad Nengroo at Prichoo in Pulwama district when he had come to offer Friday prayers in a local mosque.
Stone-pelting clashes erupted at Main Town, Prichoo, Tahab, Rajpora, Newa and Chotipora areas of Pulwama district after Friday prayers. Police responded by firing teargas shells.
In neighbouring Shopian district, similar clashes also erupted in Main Town area. The clashes also occurred at Bijbehara and Main Town areas of Anantnag distrct. A protest was also held in Reshi Bazar area of Anantnag district by locals against the civilian killings.
Four protesters and two policemen were injured as clashes erupted at Sopore Town of Baramulla district in North Kashmir after Friday prayers. Hundreds of youth staged protest and pelted stones outside Sopore Jamia Masjid on security forces. Police fired dozens of teargas canisters towards the stone-pelters. The clashes also raged at Khanpora in Old Baramulla Town and in Palhallan area of Baramulla district.
A peaceful protest was held by people at Jamia Masjid Kupwara after offering Friday prayers. There was, however, no stone-pelting incident. In Bandipora district, protesters clashes with security forces at Hajin and Sumbal areas. The clashes also raged at Kangan area of Ganderbal district in Central Kashmir. Heavy stone-pelting clashes occurred at Chadoora and Magam areas of Budgam district after Friday prayers.
In view of prevailing law and order situation and call for post-Friday protests, police detained most of the separatists either in their houses or in police stations. A middle-rung separatist leader Mushtaq-ul-Islam was detained by police at Chota Bazar locality of downtown city when he tried to stage protests along with his supporters

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