Clashes broke out Sunday near the venue of the ‘Big Kashmir Marathon’ at Hazratbal in Srinagar. The twenty-one-kilometre marathon was to begin from Naseem Bagh at Kashmir University and go along the scenic Dal Lake. Witnesses told KNS, that youth shouted slogans in favour of freedom and pelted rocks on the forces guarding the venue in the varsity. They said that police and paramilitary forces fired teargas shells on protesters at Habak crossing near the venue. “The marathon has been turned into a disaster,” a protester said. “Pakistan flags were also raised at the venue.” The clashes, they said, were going on at the time of filing of this report. Organizers said the aim of the marathon, in which professional runners from outside India also participated, was to promote healthy lifestyle and raise awareness about the need to protect dying water bodies. SP Hazartbal told KNS over phone that some ‘miscreants’ were among the crowd that tried to disrupt the event. “We have detained around 12 persons and have started investigating the issue,” SP Hazartbal said. When contacted vice chancellor Kashmir University Khursheed Iqbal Andrabi said, “the event big Kashmir marathon was not organised by Kashmir University but by 92.7 big FM. No flags were hoisted near the venue of the event and activities in the university campus are normal as usual. Kashmir University had no role in it Andrabi told KNS over phone”. Meanwhile Police spokesman in a statement said that some miscreants who passed lewd comments on girl participants who are responsible for the trouble. “A sporting event was organised today at Kashmir University which attracted a huge gathering mostly of youth. Besides some International marathoners, a large number of locals also participated. The race was flagged off as scheduled and the function was going on smoothly till some miscreants within the crowd started passing obscene and lewd comments at girl participants and those in the audience. The incidents of passing remarks were also witnessed at Habbak crossing. Instances of molestation of girls by rowdy elements were reported at the Kashmir University and en-route. FIRs have been registered into the incidents of molestation and eve teasing at PS Nigeen and 12 miscreants involved in molestation and eve teasing have been arrested so far.
2015 Kashmir Despatch