Clashes Erupt Again as Students Protest in Srinagar’s Lal Chowk

Former chief minister Omar Abdullah took to Twitter about the protests.

Hours after clashes broke out between students and security forces in the Valley, six students were detained, The Times of India quoted a senior police official as saying. Some of the students also raised pro-Azaadi slogans, he further said.

“Twelve personnel including three officers were injured in the stone pelting. Some boys involved in stone pelting were caught on the spot and detained by police. The mob was dispersed and the normalcy was restored in the area,” the police said in its statement.

Three photojournalists – Basit Zargar, Habib Naqash and Danish Ismail – were also injured in the clashes, according to reports.

A number of upmarket areas in the heart of Srinagar city virtually turned into a battleground on Monday as students clashed with police, on a day colleges reopened in Kashmir after a five-day shutdown ordered by the government.

Police had to fire dozens of tear smoke shells in an attempt to disperse the stone-pelting students from S P College and the adjoining Women's College on M A Road, officials said.

They said the clashes emanated from S P College and soon spread to the streets of Regal Chowk and adjoining areas. The students from the Women's College also joined the protests, which spread to other parts of the commercial hub, the officials said.

The cops also fired a couple of aerial shots but it was not clear whether live ammunition or rubber bullets were used. The clashes led to closure of the markets and the people rushed to safer locations out of the commercial hub, the officials said.

The clashes happen on the same when Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and urged him to initiate a dialogue to contain the deteriorating situation in the Valley.

Also Read: Mufti Banking on PM Modi to Follow Vajpayee-Like Policy on Kashmir

These educational institutions had remained closed for over a week following widespread protests by students after security forces entered a college in south Kashmir's Pulwama town on 12 April.

Also Read: In Photos: College Students Drop Pens, Pick Up Stones in Kashmir

Over 50 students were injured after they protested against a temporary check-post outside the college by the security forces.

The security forces attracted criticism after video clippings showing students being beaten inside the college premises went viral on social networking sites.

Nearly 300 WhatsApp groups are being used to mobilise stone-pelters in Kashmir to disrupt security forces' operations at encounter sites, of which 90 percent have been shut down, a police official said on Monday.

Each of these 300 WhatsApp groups had around 250 members, the official said while explaining how determined attempts were being made to disrupt the operations of the security forces by mobilising stone-pelting mobs at the encounter sites.