Thousands gathered to stage pro-Pakistan and anti-India demonstrations in Srinagar and other parts of Indian Kashmir on the first day of Eidul Fitr with some youth clashing with security forces, amid reports that Pakistani flags had also been unfurled, Radio Pakistan reported.
Veteran Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Geelani had on July 17 called for peaceful protests after Eid prayers against the Indian occupation of the territory to mark accession day, APP had reported on Friday.
On Saturday, soon after Eidul Fitr prayers had ended, many staged protests after, raising slogans against anti-India slogans and pro-freedom chants and unfurling Pakistani flags. But matters soon escalated as some protesters clashed with security forces in Srinagar and Anantnag, throwing stones at them.
Indian forces fired tear gas at the protesters to disperse them.
Local police confirmed that Pakistani flags had been unfurled, Indian Express reported. Inspector General of Police Kashmir Javid Mujtaba Gilani said that they had “registered a case, after a Pakistani flag was raised inside the Eidgah ground today.”
Geelani barred from congregational Eid prayers
Indian authorities placed Hurriyat leaders Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and others under house arrest, barring them from joining the congregational Eid prayers.
"The Mirwaiz was to offer the Eid sermon, as has been a tradition for centuries," a Hurriyat spokesperson said, Hindustan Times reported. "Not allowing the Mirwaiz to offer prayers is a deliberate interference with his religious duties."
The Mirwaiz was not allowed to leave his Srinagar residence on Saturday and had to address the congregation over the phone.
"There is no option but to address the Kashmir issue in accordance with the aspirations of the people," the Mirwaiz told the gathering. "Both India and Pakistan should initiate meaningful dialogue over Kashmir."
On Friday, Geelani had in a statement called on Kashmiris to protest against policies of the new regime, who he alleged had alarmingly increased the rate of human rights violations in the valley, making live very difficult, Kashmir Media Service reported.
The demonstrations on Saturday took place right after Eid prayers in Srinagar, and various parts of the territory, including Bandipore, Shopian, Islamabad, Sopore, Kupwara, Budgam, Kulgam, Pulwama, Kishtwar, Budgam.
Accession to Pakistan day
Azad Kashmir AJK President Sardar Muhammad Yaqoob Khan and AJK Prime Minister Chaudhry Abdul Majeed in their separate messages on Saturday said that the people of Kashmir are determined to continue their struggle till accession to Pakistan is achieved, Radio Pakistan reported.
On July 19, 1947, Kashmiris adopted a historic resolution from the platform of All Jammu and Kashmir Muslim conference in Srinagar, demanding the accession of the State of Jammu and Kashmir to Pakistan in accordance with the Partition Plan and two Nation theory.