At least six persons were injured today as clashes broke out between protestors and security forces in Nowhatta area of the city and Pulwama district in south Kashmir.Clashes broke out in Nowhatta area soon after the Friday prayers concluded inside the historic Jamia Masjid here as groups of youth indulged in stone pelting on police personnel in the area, a police official said. The security forces fired tear smoke shells and used batons to chase the miscreants, the official said. He said at least three persons were injured in the clashes which were going on till last reports came in.
Among the injured is chief photojournalist of PTI S Irfan, who had gone to cover the incident. “As the security forces were chasing away the protestors, I tried to take a safe position during which my safety helmet came off. As I turned to pick up the helmet, I was struck by a stone,” Irfan said. The photojournalist said he was rushed to a hospital by his colleagues where he was discharged after first aid.
Clashes also broke out in Pulwama town in south Kashmir where youth pelted stones at security forces, who had launched a search operation, following information about the presence of militants in the area, the police official said. He said three persons were injured in retaliatory action by security forces to chase the protestors away.Meanwhile, normal life was affected across Kashmir due to the strike called by separatist groups in support of their demand for “right to self-determination”. Shops and business establishments remained closed while public transport was mostly off the roads in the valley.However, private vehicles were plying on all major roads of the valley despite the strike call.