Kashmir Media Watch
Mayhem was witnessed after Friday prayers as police and other government forces unleashed brute force to curb protesters. As per ground reports at least 100 people, including women worshipers were injured inside and around the historic Jamia Masjid at Nowhatta as hundreds of protestors clashed with police and paramilitary forces that fired the indiscriminate pellet guns and tear smoke shells. The injured also include two senior police officers – SDPO and SHO – and one CRPF constable.
Government forces fired pellets and teargas shells inside Jamia Mosque injuring many worshippers and passersby. As teargas and pellets were used profusely, eye witnesses said women were falling and fainting all over the place. This was corroborated by scores of video clippings that were later floated on social networking sites.
Senior Hurriyat leader, Er. Hilal War, while talking to Kashmir Media Watch said, “The forces and police resorted to unprovoked shelling and since the time of Maharaja first time ever the sanctity of mosque was violated in such a brazen manner. Shells were lobbed even inside the mosque premises and government forces entered the mosque as if they were fighting a war on the border. This is quite a condemnable act and the religious scholars should take notice of the brute force unleashed on worshipers and also attack on the sanctity of this historic mosque.”
Condemning the forces’ action, Shahr-e-Khass Coordination Committee (SKCC), an amalgam of various trade bodies of Downtown called for a complete shutdown in the area on Saturday.
“We strongly condemn the indiscriminate firing of pellets and tear gas shells inside the grand mosque at worshippers and shopkeepers. We urge the people of the Downtown including shopkeepers to protest against it.”
Gulzar Ahmad, a local, said: “ It was absolutely painful to witness the level of oppressive power displayed by men in uniform here yesterday in historic Jamia Mosque leaving many injured . It is also war against our emotions.”
On the other hand, at least 30 youth were hit by pellets, 15 among them in eyes.
Jammu and Kashmir Young Journalists Association condemned the aggression unleashed on worshipers. Ajaz Ahmad War, President JKYJA said: “We cannot tolerate this level of barbarity unleashed on innocent worshipers and one needs to bear in mind that forces and police are trained for restraint and to be law abiding. For mere acts of stone pelting they cannot harm worshipers and violate sanctity of respected, historical mosque with such wanton use of power.”