File photo | By Vijdan Mohammad Kawoosa

SRINAGAR: Please stop pelting stones at government forces, says an imam to a thousand-member congregation at a mosque at Chanapora suburb here.

The imam or prayer leader was on Friday addressing the congregation at the mosque, just adjacent to the road where stone pelting clashes between young men and security forces often take place.

The leader asked people to continue raising their voice against the ‘atrocities’ committed by forces in Kashmir valley and against the detention of religious leaders, “but in a peaceful manner”.

“Stone pelting does not do any good, we need to understand that they (forces) retaliate with bullets and in turn our own people are hurt.”

He said police detained some prayer leaders for raising their voice against the forces, but he reiterated his resolve to continue raising his voice peacefully without physically attacking any forces deployment.

The prayer leader made a similar appeal two weeks back asking people to protest peacefully and with utmost discipline, not pelt stones on forces, and not raise pro-Pakistan slogans. He said Kashmir has its indigenous ‘freedom movement’ and raising pro-Pakistan slogans won’t do any good to the movement.

Pertinently, the mosque is only a ten-minute walk from nearby Barzulla locality where ‘intense clashes’ were reported. A news report stated that hundreds of men and women participated in a pro-freedom rally soon after the Friday congregational prayer but police and paramilitary forces fired tear smoke shells on them.

Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir – Mehbooba Mufti – said in August that only 5 percent people were involved in ‘violence’ and 95 percent people wanted peaceful solution to Kashmir problem.

The ongoing anti-government uprising in parts of Jammu and Kashmir – primarily in Kashmir valley – entered 77th day. Almost 89 people – including three policemen – have died since the mass protest began on July 8 with the killing of armed rebel commander Burhan Wani in an encounter with government forces in south Kashmir.