For the second consecutive day police continued their crackdown on miscreants indulging in stone-throwing and arrested 17 youths. A spokesman said the 17 were also wanted in different cases of mob violence. They were held from different parts of the city.
Clashes broke out in Chattabal here, when police removed a flag with an anti-national slogan. People came out on the streets in large numbers and staged protests. Subsequently, youth pelted stones on the police. Security forces resorted to teargas and then fired pellets. Eight persons injured in the firing were admitted to the Sheri Maharaja Hari Singh (SMHS) hospital and are stated to be out of danger.
A spokesman said the police conducted a flag march in old city after an objectionable flag was sighted. It was later removed. “Some miscreants pelted stones on the police. Police conducted a cane charge, used tear gas and pump action ammunition to chase them away,” he said.
Forty people were rounded up in Bemina area for alleged stone-throwing. However, 33 were released after questioning.
Sources said a list of around 500 “hard core” stone-pelters had been drawn up. “They have organised a huge network in the city and are not only involved in stone-pelting but also enforcing the strikes.”
Meanwhile, as soon as the authorities lifted restriction on the movement of moderate separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, he visited the SMHS hospital and inquired about the patients injured in recent protests.
In the afternoon, a cloud burst struck close to the Holy Amarnath cave triggering a flash flood in the stream flowing nearby, police said.
Three tents were damaged in the incident. However, no loss of life was reported.
A government spokesman said over 4.56 lakh yatris had darshan at the Amarnath shrine so far.