Srinagar:  Violent protests after congregational prayers on Monday marred Eid-ul-Fitr celebrations in the city as a mob set ablaze a police vehicle and beat up three policemen in Eidgah area.

As soon as the Eid prayers concluded at Eidgah in the Old City, hundreds of youth blocked the road and stopped a police vehicle on its way to Soura from Qamarwari and asked the policemen to alight from the vehicle, official sources said.

They said the cops were then beaten by the mob but they managed to escape from the spot. Three policemen, including an Assistant Sub Inspector, were injured in the incident.

The mob then set ablaze the police vehicle, the sources said.

Additional police and paramilitary personnel were rushed to the spot to restore law and order in the area, the sources said.

Police had to fire several rounds of tear smoke shells and even fired few aerial shots to disperse the mob, they said.

Although officials did not cite any reason for the sudden outbreak of violence in the area, the separatist camp maintained it was a reaction to state government's decision to impose restrictions on Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and other leaders, which prevented them from offering even Eid prayers.

The state government had on Sunday put the top brass of separatist leadership including Mirwaiz, Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mohammad Yasin Malik under house arrest as a preventive measure to maintain law and order.

Mirwaiz, who addressed the Eid gathering over phone, said, "If the government wants peace in Kashmir, it needs to resolve the issues by addressing them."

"Leaving politics aside, imposing curbs on people and preventing them from discharging their religious duties is interference in our religious matters," he said.


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