Kashmir celebrates Eid despite violence
Posted on Jul 29 2014 | IANS
Srinagar, July 29 : The Kashmir Valley Tuesday celebrated Eid with the usual religious fervour after the morning festivities were marred by clashes between bands of youths and security forces.
Once peace returned to the valley post afternoon, people exchanged Eid greetings with families and friends in Srinagar and all major towns in the valley.
Children burst firecrackers on the streets of Srinagar.
Most families were huddled in the comfort of their homes, enjoying the delicacies that go with Eid, which marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan.
Earlier, clashes erupted between stone-throwing youths and security personnel at over a dozen places in the valley, including Srinagar, the hub of the separatist campaign.
The clashes were reported from Baramulla, Sopore and Anantnag towns and some places in Srinagar city. In most places, police exercised restraint while dispersing the protesters keeping in mind the Eid atmosphere.
But even as the violence raged, thousands offered Eid prayers peacefully in most places in the Kashmir Valley.
The rural areas were peaceful. In urban centres, normalcy returned to areas affected by incidents of stone pelting.
The administration had placed separatist leaders, including Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, Shabir Ahmad Shah and Muhammad Yasin Malik, under house arrest to maintain peace.
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah offered prayers at the Hazratbal shrine in Srinagar.
Mufti Muhammad Sayeed, a former chief minister and patron of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, prayed at Sonawar area of the city.
A police officer said that barring these few incidents, Eid celebrations were celebrated peacefully in the valley.
"Except for stray incidents of stone pelting at some places, Eid prayers passed off peacefully," the officer told IANS.
"Large gatherings were seen in Srinagar at Hazratbal and Eidgah grounds where hundreds gathered to offer prayers," he said.