Free Press Journal

Eid in Kashmir: Clashes in parts of Valley, two scribes hurt


Srinagar: On the Eid festival today, parts of Kashmir today saw clashes between stone-pelting mobs and security forces in which two journalists were injured even as even as authorities placed separatist leaders including Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq under house arrest. Clashes were reported from Eidgah, Rajouri Kadal and some other areas of old Srinagar city and a few places in Anantnag district, a police officer said.

Soon after Eid prayers, mobs started pelting stones at police and paramilitary forces in several areas of Srinagar, the officer said. Flags of Pakistan and militant group Al-Jehad were also waved by some youth in some areas of old Srinagar, he said. Security forces used tear smoke shells to disperse the mobs, the officer said, adding two journalists were injured in clashes at Eidgah.

In rest of the Valley, the festival was celebrated peacefully against the backdrop of raging controversy over recent High Court order for implementation of an old law that bans slaughter and sale of beef. Internet services were snapped since this morning till tomorrow night as authorities apprehended misuse of social media to create communal tension over the beef ban.

The authorities also placed most of the separatist leaders, including the heads of both factions of Hurriyat conference, under house arrest. Geelani, Farooq, Yasin Malik, Sabhir Shah and many other separatist leaders were put under house arrest in view of the apprehension of law and order problem, police said.

Some separatist groups had said they would defy the court order even though Geelani had appealed that religious sentiments of any community should not be hurt intentionally, in an apparent reference to Hindus whose sentiments are attached to the cow.

“When, on the occasion of the Eid-ul-Azha… we will be sacrificing animals, it will not be to hurt any particular community or tribe, but it is our religious obligation which is in practice from long ago and we will continue to practice it in future too,” the hardline separatist leader had said.

“We should adopt a dignified approach for this dignified religious obligation… The aim of these sacrifices… should not be to intentionally hurt the sentiments of any community,” he had said.