Clashes and protests erupted in Maisuma area of Srinagar following the news of alleged thrashing of Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik and other leaders by CRPF in Botengoo village of Anantnag district after offering prayers at the grave of slain Zahid Rasool Bhat. Reports said that police and CRPF fired teargas canisters at youth who were protesting against the thrashing of Malik and other leaders. Shops and business units were shut in Maisuma, Amira Kadal and Lalchowk after the protests. Malik, Javid Mir, Sheikh Abdul Rashid, Yasin Bhat, Ahsan Untoo, Shabir Dar, Farooq Ahmad Khan and Mukhtar Ahmad Sofi were thrashed by CRPF in Botengoo, Ashan Untoo told KNS over phone. He said Malik, Dar and Khan were badly injured in the thrashing. “We had gone to visit the family of Zahid Rasool Bhat to express solidarity with them when the CRPF men went berserk against us,” he said. The leaders have been detained at Sadder Police Station in Anantnag town. Untoo said that they were planning to hold a day long hunger strike in Islamabad Chowk against the killing of Zahid. Inspector General of Police Syed Javaid Mujtaba Gillani refuted the allegations of thrashing and beating of separatists by police and CRPF. “No such thing (thrashing and beating) happened. We arrested them because they were planning a hunger strike for which they had not sought the permission from the district magistrate. So, to prevent attempts of vitiating peace, we arrested them,” IGP said. He said that police does not stop people from offering condolences to families. “He (Yasin Malik) wanted to offer condolences to the bereaved family, we allowed him,” he said, adding, “we could have detained him in Srinagar but as human gesture we allowed him to proceed to Anantnag”. Police version Meanwhile police spokesman in a statement said that the police came to know that Yasin Malik and some other persons wanted to visit the house of Late Zahid Ahmed Bhat at Botengo for condolences. “Yasin Malik and others were allowed to do so. However, after visiting the house of Late Zahid at Botengo they tried to take out a procession with an aim to vitiate the atmosphere which was not allowed. Yasin Malik alongwith others were detained at Police Station Anantnag,” the statement said.
2015 Kashmir Despatch