Srinagar: Police clashed with a mob of stone-pelters today after prayers in the North Kashmir town of Baramulla, 54 km from here, forcing the closure of businesses and halting traffic in the town.
“(Separatist leader) Syed Ali Shah Geelani had addressed a gathering at the main chowk (square) in the town following which violence erupted. Police exercised maximum restraint as a mob of miscreants resorted to heavy stone pelting on Baramulla police station after Friday prayers. It is pertinent to mention that such incidents of violence after Geelani’s public addresses have taken place at many places last year too,” a police press statement said here.
Eyewitnesses said police used tear smoke shells and batons to disperse the unruly mob outside the Baramulla police station.
“After the mob withdrew from the police station, they engaged in intense stone pelting at the police in the cement bridge area,” an eye-witness said on phone from Baramulla.
Tit-for-tat clashes between police and the stone pelters were continuing in the cement bridge area till last reports came in.
Baramulla town is believed to be a stronghold of the octogenarian separatist leader, Geelani who hails from the adjacent town of Sopore in the Baramulla district.