One civilian was killed and 18 others injured as clashes erupted in parts of Kashmir valley after the congregational Id prayers on Saturday.
Violence and stone throwing started immediately after Id prayers in parts of Anantnag, pitting the youth against the security forces guarding the area.
Eighteen-year-old Sheraz Ahmad Naikoo from Anantnag’s Brakpora, who suffered multiple injuries, was declared dead at the Janglat Mandi hospital.
“Preliminary investigation suggested that a hand grenade exploded. The splinters resulted in the death of Naikoo. His right hand got fully damaged. Further details are being ascertained,” said a police spokesperson.
However, locals alleged that the security forces “excessively used pellet guns” resulting in the casualties. Three protesters suffered pellet injuries in the eyes, according to the hospital sources.
Clashes also erupted in Srinagar’s Eidgah where Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq led the prayers after a gap of eight years. Shopian and Kupwara also witnessed sporadic clashes and stone throwing, leaving seven injured.
South Kashmir’s Pulwama remained tense with beefed up security as the teenager, Viqas Ahmad Rather, who died in the Army firing during the clashes on Friday evening was buried at Nowpora Payeen.
Locals said a few militants also appeared at the funeral and addressed the gathering.
The militants reportedly threatened to ransack police officials’ residences “in case the security forces failed to stop raiding the houses of militants”. They also attacked a road opening party of the CRPF and injured a paramilitary trooper at Lasjan on the outskirts of Srinagar.
In his Id sermon, the Mirwaiz asked New Delhi “to stop the policy of repression”.
“Kashmir is a political and humanitarian issue and dealing with this issue with the military can’t yield any result neither can it force the people of Kashmir or the leadership into a submission,” he said.
Separatists joint forum, Joint Resistance Leadership, comprising Syed Ali Geelani, the Mirwiaz and Yasin Malik, condemned the killing of two youth in the past 24 hours.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, who first visited the Dara Shikoh Park at Bijbehara to offered fateh (special prayers) to her father and former Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed, joined the congregational prayers at the Ziyarat Hazrat Syed Sahibin at Srinagar’s Sonwar.
“I wish and hope the Id brings along peace and prosperity to the State and its people,” Chief Minister Mehbooba said.
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