Clashes erupted on Saturday in Jammu and Kashmir's Anantnag district, allegedly in connection with the attacks on students from the Valley in the aftermath of Pulwama attack. The clashes took place at Lal Chowk area of Anantnag, Rising Kashmir reported.
Witnesses told the newspaper that youth assembled at Lal Chowk and enforced a shutdown, following which the police arrived at the spot and fired several tear smoke shells to disperse the stone-pelters.
The protestors, while shouting pro-freedom and anti-India slogans, also staged demonstrations against the attacks on Kashmiris across India, the newspaper reported. The demonstrators also displayed photographs of a local who was thrashed in Chandigarh yesterday by a mob, Greater Kashmir added.
National Conference (NC) workers also held a protest march against the recent attacks on Kashmiris and detention of separatists.
— ANI (@ANI) February 23, 2019
Meanwhile, People's Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti has also reacted to the detentions, and wrote on Twitter:
In the past 24 hours, Hurriyat leaders & workers of Jamaat organisation have been arrested. Fail to understand such an arbitrary move which will only precipitate matters in J&K. Under what legal grounds are their arrests justified? You can imprison a person but not his ideas. — Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) February 23, 2019
Reports said that clashes were also launched ahead of the Supreme Court hearing on Article 370 of the Constitution on Monday. The article provides special status to Jammu and Kashmir. A PIL, filed by BJP leader Ashwini Upadhyay, said the court must decide on the President of India's jurisdiction and thereby delineate who exactly can rule over Jammu and Kashmir.
Ahead of the hearing, the Centre has also deployed additional CAPF forces in the Valley, especially in south Kashmir to ensure that law and order is maintained.
The clashes come a day after nearly two dozen of Jamaat-e-Islami cadres, including its chief Abdul Hamid Fayaz, were detained. Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front chief Yaseen Malik was also detained on Friday night amid indications of a wider crackdown on separatists in Jammu and Kashmir, officials said.
Officials privy to the developments said this is the first major crackdown on Jamaat, that is part of the Tehreek-e-Hurriyat, a separatist conglomerate. The Jamaat issued a statement condemning the detentions and said "...The move is a well-designed conspiracy to pave way for further uncertainty in the region." "...The way forces personnel unleashed the spree of mass arrest and detained dozens of Jamaat members prior to the hearing seems something is hatching behind the curtains. Any attempt of eroding or tampering Article 35A is unacceptable for people of Jammu and Kashmir," the Jamaat-e-Islam said in a statement after its leaders were detained by state police.
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Updated Date: Feb 23, 2019 13:35:39 IST