Clashes in downtown Srinagar after Friday prayers

Protests in Kashmir

SRINAGAR — Clashes erupted between youth and government forces after Friday prayers in old city areas of Srinagar as authorities prevented a march from being taken out, police said.

Soon after the congregational Friday prayers ended inside the Jamia Masjid in Nowhatta area, a group of youth came out on the streets, displaying posters of Burhan Wani, commander of the militant outfit Hizbul Mujahedeen.

As the youth tried to take out a protest march, a large posse of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and state police intercepted them, triggering clashes that kept going on for hours.

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Forces used batons, tear smoke shells and pellet guns to disperse the youth, who, however, kept on regrouping. Panic gripped people in the area as shopkeepers pulled down shutters and traffic came to a halt.

Wani has emerged as a poster boy of militancy after his pictures were flashed on social networking websites, purportedly uploaded to give a flip to the separatist insurgency in the state.

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