Six injured in Kashmir grenade attack

Six injured in Kashmir grenade attack

Six injured in Kashmir grenade attack

Police inspect the site of a grenade explosion in Srinagar on Friday. APAt least six persons, including four securitymen, were injured when militants exploded a hand grenade after a clash between law enforcing agencies and a violent mob in downtown city on Friday

The grenade was hurled by militants at a joint gathering of CRPF and police at Saraf Kadal chowk in the vicinity of the historic Jamia Masjid around 4.20 PM, police sources said.

They said the security men had assembled near a CRPF picket after charging on a stone-pelting mob which was chanting pro-freedom and anti-establishment slogans when the attack took place.

Prior to the grenade explosion, a pistol shot was also heard in the area, the sources said, adding that the grenade attack left six persons including three CRPF personnel and a policeman injured, the sources said.

They said the whole area was immediately cordoned off by the security forces and a hunt has been launched to nab the militants involved in the attack.No militant outfit has so far claimed responsibility for the attack, which sparked off panic in the area which along with the adjacent Rajouri Kadal, Bohrikadal and Nowhatta localities witnessed violent clashes between the youth and security forces shortly after Friday prayers.

Four injured in the grenade blast have been identified as head constable Ashok Kumar and constable Santosh of CRPF, Constable Bilal Ahmad of local police and Shopkeeper Manzoor Ahmad Tramboo, the sources said adding condition of constable Bilal was stated to be "critical".

The sources said police fired dozens of teargas shells and used batons to disperse the stone-pelting mobs who took to streets shortly after chairman of moderate faction of Hurriyat Conference Mirwaiz Umer Farooq addressed a gathering at Rajouri Kadal after leading a procession from Jamia Masjid.

Criticising Chief Minister Omar Abdullah for accusing separatists for encouraging violence, Mirwaiz hit back saying the economic progress and prosperity of the state espoused by him was not possible without resolution of Kashmir issue.

"The economic prosperity and progress talked about by the Chief Minister is not possible without resolution of Kashmir issue," he told the gathering.  Official sources said violent clashes between groups of youth and security forces also took place in Baramulla and Sopore townships of North Kashmir and Ganderbal district town.
However, no one was hurt in the clashes which erupted after Friday prayers, the sources said.
Chairman of Hardline faction of Hurriyat Conference Syed Ali Shah Geelani had called for peaceful protest after Friday prayers against the alleged human rights violations and death sentence awarded to three persons including two Kashmiris in the 1996 Lajpat Nagar blast case.

To prevent him from leading the protests, the authorities have placed Geelani under house arrest since last night.

Policemen were deployed outside Geelani's Hyderpora residence with a direction not to allow the separatist leader to move out of his house, the sources said.
In Srinagar, Mirwaiz lashed out at the Chief Minister Omar Abdullah for what he called his repeated criticism of the separatist leadership in the state and described it as 'childish'.
"We represent the blood sacrifices of over one lakh people of the state and this bloodshed took place in the state when Omar Abdullah was busy securing his own future outside the state," he said.

He said political stability was an essential ingredient for development and prosperity but the Chief Minister should realize that it is not possible without achieving peace, which is dependent on resolution of the vexed issue.

The Hurriyat chairman said, "We are not against development and progress but to talk about such things when innocents are being killed, properties destroyed and youths implicated in false cases and jailed shows political immaturity and exploitative nature of his politics."

Radical pro-Pakistan militant outfit Jamiat-ul-Mujahideen (JUM) later claimed responsibility for the attack in Srinagar."The grenade attack at Saraf Kadal was carried out by our activists," a caller introducing himself as spokesman of the outfit told PTI on phone.

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