Eid prayers, clashes in Kashmir Valley

Srinagar, Aug 9 : Muslims offered Eid-ul-Fitr prayers in Srinagar and other parts of the Kashmir Valley Friday as authorities placed separatist leaders under house arrest to ensure that law and order was maintained.

Large gatherings were seen at Eidgah and Hazratbal in Srinagar where people, wearing new clothes, greeted each other after the prayers. Children were at the forefront of the festivities.

Chief Minister Omar Abdullah offered prayers at the Hazratbal shrine on the banks of the Dal Lake in Srinagar.

Elaborate security arrangements were made at the Hazratbal shrine ahead of Omar's arrival.

Separatist leaders Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Muhammad Yasin Malik and Shabir Shah were placed under house arrest.

Geelani had announced that he would offer prayers at the Hazratbal shrine while the Mirwaiz planned to offer prayers at the Eidgah grounds in the city.

However, immediately after the prayers, some youths indulged in stone pelting at the police and paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) deployed to maintain law and order in Eidgah, Hyderpora and Sikidafar areas of Srinagar.

Police fired teargas shells and baton-charged the protestors to disperse them.

Reports of clashes between stone-pelting youths and the security forces also came in from Sopore town.

"Security forces have been ordered to exercise maximum restraint while dealing with protesting mobs," a senior police officer told IANS.

--IANS (Posted on 09-08-2013)

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