Srinagar, June 6 (PTI) Groups of youths took out a procession here today to protest alleged blasphemous depiction of Kaba Sharief on some products and clashed with police prompting them to fire warning shots and tear smoke shells. The protests continued for the second day today in the city despite Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah appealing to people not to pay heed to “rumours”.
Fifteen persons were injured in clashes between police and stone-pelting protestors in the city yesterday. Youth carrying garments allegedly depicting photographs of Kaba Sharief took out a march in Maisuma in the heart of the city trying to enforce a shutdown but police prevented them from coming on the main road, officials said.
They said the protesters pelted stones on the policemen who retaliated with tear smoke shells. They also fired a few warning shots to disperse them, the officials added.
The clashes remained confined to the Maisuma locality, they said adding, no one was injured. Police after examining the garments found that they carry imprints and sketches of various buildings which resemble places like Big Ben in London, St Paul”s Cathedral of London and other places.
“No sketch has any likeness to any Muslim religious place or building,” a police spokesman said. Disturbed over the protests, Omar last night appealed to people not to fall prey to rumour-mongers.
“Some elements are bent upon to disturb peace for vested interests and people should not get carried away by their nefarious designs,” he said. Meanwhile, protests also rocked Banihal town of Jammu region, where a shutdown was observed on the issue.
Over 1,000 people took out a protest rally on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway and raised slogans. They also blocked traffic for some time.