Clashes erupt after youth storm Congress rally in Srinagar

SRINAGAR – Intense clashes erupted in Maisuma and its adjoining areas in Srinagar after scores of youth attacked the protest rally of Congress party on Tuesday morning, witnesses and sources said.

The clashes erupted on the day when present Jammu and Kashmir Government started its functioning from summer capital for the first time since its takeover of the State.

Sources said that, as per programme, scores of Congress workers led by its president, Ghulam Muhammad Mir, took out a rally from its headquarters at located on Maulana Azad Road and started marching towards the Civil Secretariat.

“The marchers were intercepted by police at Budshah Chowk and in the meanwhile, groups of youth appeared and stoned the Congress workers forcing them to flee from the spot,” sources said, adding, “They (Congress workers) then went to Press Enclave via Lal Chowk where the protest concluded.”

On the other side, police swung into action and chased away the youths. “The youth took position in the lanes of Maisuma and Red Cross Road and resorted to heavy stone-pelting on police and paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF),” a witness said.  He said that in order to contain the intense clashes, additional number of police and CRPF contingents were rushed to Maisuma.

Sources said the clashes spread to inner lanes of Maisuma and Gawkadal during which government forces fired dozens of teargas and pepper shells. The clashes continued for several hours during which several people including cops sustained injuries, witnesses said.  “Many youth were hit by pellets,” a scribe said. GNS