Srinagar: Clashes erupted in parts of Srinagar after Friday prayers as senior separatist leader Yasin Malik was detained following protests in the city.
The protests erupted in Maisuma and Gawkadal areas, adjacent to business hub of Lal chowk. The protestors were demanding disbanding of Village Defence Committees (VDCs).
As soon as protesters reached near the city centre, a large posse of security forces blocked their way and detained Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front chairman Yasin Malik, who was leading the protest match, along with scores of party activists.
Soon after the separatist leader’s arrest angry protestors clashed with the security force personnel and pelted stones on them. Police and paramilitary troopers had to use tear smoke gas shells to disperse the stone-pelting protestors. However, protestors kept on re-grouping and clashes were going on in the area.
“VDCs are tools of state sponsored terrorism and have unleashed a reign of terror. They should be disbanded at an earliest”, Malik said before his arrest.
Opposition National Conference (NC) and separatist leaders have demanded disbanding of VDCs after a VDC member allegedly killed a senior NC leader in Rajouri district of Jammu province on Sunday evening and another member of the committee “murdered” a woman on Thursday in the same district.
Separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani has called for protest shutdown on Saturday in Jammu and Kashmir against the VDCs.