Srinagar: Fifteen persons were injured in
clashes between police and stone pelting youth protesting
against alleged blasphemous depiction of the holy city of
Madina on some products which resulted in disruption of life
in parts of the city and Baramulla in north Kashmir.
Police fired warning shots and lobbed dozens of teargas
shells to disperse angry groups of youth who indulged in stone
pelting in Maisuma, Kokerbazar and Lal Chowk, the nerve centre
of the city, official sources said.
The protests which were initially confined to old city
areas, spread to civil lines and Baramulla in north Kashmir as
the day advanced, resulting in clashes which left 15 people
injured, the sources said.
A police spokesman blamed "miscreants" for disturbing the
situation in the city today.
"The attempt to create tension in the society is a
deliberate move to disturb the situation by indulging in
blasphemous rumours", he said.
The general public is advised to remain calm and caution
against such elements", the spokesman told agency.
He said the products in question were examined and they
were found to be carrying imprints and sketches of various
buildings on it which resembled places like Big Ben in London,
St Paul`s Cathedral of London and other places but no sketch
has any likeness to any Muslim religious place or buildings,
The spokesman said police on its part will not hesitate
to take action against such miscreant.
The trouble started in Nowhatta area of old city as
people came out on the streets as word spread about the
alleged act of blasphemy.
Protesters went around several areas in the city and
forced shopkeepers to pull down their shutters and within
minutes the area wore a deserted look, the sources said.
As the news spread like wild fire, people in other areas
came out of their houses and started marching towards Lal
Chowk but were intercepted by police at several places on the
way especially at Nowpora, where they used lathis and fired
teargas shells to disperse the agitated crowds.
The protesters hurled stones on police leading to clashes
The sources said people also took to the streets in
Baramulla and protested against the alleged act. There were
also clashes between the youth and police for quite some time
but there was no report of any casualty, they said.