Violent clashes rock Srinagar

October 11th, 2008 - 7:08 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan SinghSrinagar, Oct 11 (IANS) Violent clashes between stone pelting mobs and security forces rocked this summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir Saturday, the day when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh flagged off the first ever train in the troubled valley.Intermittent clashes were reported from uptown Maisuma here even as authorities enforced curfew in three police station areas of the old city.

“Stone pelting mobs engaged the police and the paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in Maisuma,” a police officer said.

“We are handling the situation with restraint to avoid any civilian casualty in the area. Batons and tear smoke shells were used to disperse the mobs,” the police officer said.

In the old city Nowhatta area two protesters were killed in police and CRPF firing as an unruly mob resorted to heavy stone pelting on the security forces there Friday.

Over a dozen protesters and security men were injured in the Maisuma clashes Saturday.

As a precautionary measure, the authorities imposed curfew in S.R. Gunj, Nowhatta and Safa Kadal police station areas.

In at least two other police station areas of Khanyar and Rainawari also the authorities enforced restrictions on movement of people and traffic to thwart violence.

Separatist leaders had called for a complete shutdown Saturday to protest the prime minister’s visit to the valley.

Businesses, educational institutions and banks remained closed here and attendance in government offices ran very thin because of non-availability of public transport.

The University of Kashmir had cancelled all its exams scheduled to be held Saturday.

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