Clashes at funeral procession of youth hit by CRPF vehicle in Valley

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Shadow Correspondent
SRINAGAR, JUN 02:
Clashes broke out between protesters and security forces in the old city here on Saturday after the death of a youth who was allegedly hit by a CRPF vehicle during another confrontation on Friday.
Protesters pelted stones when security forces stopped his funeral procession at Fatehkadal, a police official said. The forces fired dozens of tear smoke shells and pellets to chase them away.
Some protesters received minor injuries, the official said.
The authorities had imposed restrictions in parts of Srinagar after Kaiser Bhat (21) died in hospital around midnight. But hundreds of people turned out for the funeral.
He was later buried at Eidgah even as reports came in of clashes elsewhere in the city.
Following the youth’s death, the separatists had given a strike call across Kashmir on Saturday, prompting shopkeepers and other business owners to down shutters.
The clash in which Bhat was fatally injured took place on Friday after Friday prayers ended at the Jamia Masjid in Srinagar’s Nowhatta area.
A group of youths had started pelting stones at the security forces, with some of them attacking a CRPF vehicle.
Bhat and another man were taken to SKIMS hospital at Soura after being hit by that vehicle.
Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister
Clashes at funeral …..
Omar Abdullah criticised the security forces, tweeting that they now drive their jeeps right over protestors .
This prompted a sharp reaction from Union minister Jitendra Singh, who told reporters that some politicians find security forces soft targets and are quick to condemn them.
Earlier on Saturday, before the violence during the funeral procession, the authorities had imposed a curfew in Nowhatta.
Restrictions under section 144 of the CrPC, which prohibits the gathering of people, were also in force in six other police station areas of the city Rainawari, Safakadal, Khanyar, MR Gunj, Maisuma and Kralkhud.
The curbs were imposed as a precautionary measure to maintain law and order.
Buses didn’t run in Srinagar following the strike call by the separatists. But private cars, cabs and auto-rickshaws were seen plying in the areas where there were no restrictions.
Private schools were shut in the city, an official said.
He said similar reports of the strike being observed were received from other district headquarters in the Valley.
Train services in Kashmir were also stopped for the day.
The authorities suspended mobile internet services in Srinagar and Budgam districts while the network speed was reduced in four south Kashmir districts.
Police had booked unidentified stone-pelters for attempt to murder and rioting while charging the CRPF driver with rash driving in connection with Friday’s clashes.
However, JKLF chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik was detained from his residence here, while moderate Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was placed under house arrest today.
This was done as a precautionary step to prevent them from taking out protest marches after a youth, who was allegedly run over by a CRPF vehicle yesterday, died, a police official said.
Malik was detained from his Maisuma residence and taken to the Kothi Bagh police station, he said.
Mirwaiz was put under house arrest at his Nigeen residence, he added.
Hardline Hurriyat Conference leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani continues to remain under house detention, the police official said.
The three separatist leaders, under the banner of Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL), had called for a shutdown in the Valley today to protest the death of the youth, Kaiser Bhat (21).
Clashes erupted yesterday after the Friday prayers ended at the Jamia Masjid in Srinagar’s Nowhatta.
Bhat was hurt when a CRPF vehicle, which was under attack from protestors, hit him and another man.
The two were rushed to SKIMS hospital, where Bhat later died.

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