SRINAGAR, KASHMIR (BNO NEWS) — Families and relatives of more than 73 youth who were arrested during clashes on Saturday protested outside the police station in downtown Srinagar in Indian-administered Kashmir on Tuesday, the Hindustan Times reported.

Female protesters with sticks in their hands blocked the main road in the city center, causing a major traffic jam and affecting shoppers. The women condemned the arrests and accused police of arresting innocent people.

Police claimed that 300 motorcycle-borne youth pelted stones at Nowhatta police station in the city center at about 10.30 p.m. local time on Saturday. “The miscreants were riding motorcycles and tossed two petrol bombs on police. Six policemen were injured and two of them are in serious condition,” a police officer was quoted as saying.

However, eyewitnesses’ accounts contradict the police’s version. A local said police confronted a group of youth who marched on the streets raising pro-freedom slogans after finishing night prayers. “They were confronted by the police, which resulted in a clash. Suddenly, the police started rounding up whoever was on the road,” the local added.

Inspector general of police Shiv Murari Sahai told the Hindustan Times that the cases are being looked in. “Sit-ins will not deter us. We will book those involved in the stone-pelting incident. But if there are minor charges, youth will be released. So far no final decision has been taken,” said Sahai.

The court on Monday granted bail to 40 youth while 33 were sent to judicial remand. However, those who were granted bail have not been handed over to their families as of late Tuesday.

The arrests came shortly after chief minister Omar Abdullah announced amnesty to youths involved in over 1,200 cases of stone pelting in last summer’s unrest.

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

Source: WireUpdate.