Srinagar: Around 100 activists belonging to
Jammu and Kashmir NGO Forum today staged a protest rally in
Lal Chowk area of Srinagar against the continuous strikes
called by separatist groups over the past few months, but
their leader was attacked by some youths.
Nearly 25 vehicles carrying the protestors, who had come
from various parts of the Valley, assembled at Tourist
Reception Centre (TRC) ground here, official sources said.
Holding placards denouncing the frequent strikes, the
car rally then proceeded towards the Clock Tower in Lal Chowk
area, the sources said.
One of the protestors hoisted a white flag, symbolising
peace, atop the Clock Tower, they said.
As the organiser of the rally Bashir Ahmad -- formerly
associated with a national political party -- was talking to
reporters, a group of youths beat him up and forced the
anti-strike protestors to flee.
Ahmad was bleeding from the mouth before being rescued by
police personnel providing security cover to the rally.
An agitated youth also removed the white flag and set
it ablaze. Police detained the youth who brought down the flag
while chasing away his other accomplices.
Several groups of people appeared from nearby Kokerbazar,
Maisuma and Court road localities and raised slogans and
started throwing stones at the police personnel.
Police burst teargas shells and used batons to bring the
situation under control.
This is second protest against the strikes called by
hardline Hurriyat Conference led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani
since the ongoing unrest began in the valley in June.
On September One, a political activist organised a
students` protest rally at Residence Road but had to beat a
hasty retreat following opposition from some youths in the