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Fight for downtown in Kashmir:
JKLF AAC clash

Srinagar
Nov 26, 2006:

Pro freedom group Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) activists clashed with supporters of another pro freedom group, Awami Action Committee (AAC) in downtown Srinagar as JKLF inaugrated its office in the area here today.

Hundreds of JKLF supporters had gathered at Bohri Kadal Srinagar for the inaugration of ‘Maqbool Centre’, the JKLF office in downtown, known as a strong AAC bastion.

JKLF chairman Yasin Malik earlier visited the Martyrs Graveyard at Eidgah, where from he marched to Bohri Kadal in the form of a procession.

JKLF chairman said the downtown office is meant to mark the ‘sacrifices of the downtown people in the freedom struggle’.

Analysts see the step as move to gain foothold in the AAC bastion loyal to Mirwaiz Umar Farooq.

Addressing the gathering Malik elucidated the role the downtown had played in the ‘freedom struggle’. He also mentioned the sacrifices of separatist leaders Mirwaiz Moulana Farooq and Abdul Gani Lone.

Mirwaiz Farooq the AAC leader and father of Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was killed on May 21, 1990 by unknown gunmen while as Abdul Gani Lone the People’s Conference President was killed at Eidgah on May 21 2002.

The trouble erupted soon after the inauguration of the office, when a group chanting pro-Pakistan slogans and the JKLF group chanting pro-freedom slogans clashed and pelted stones on each other injuring five people, witnesses said.

The groups kept chasing each other and pelting stones till police intervened.

“This is a shame. Will these people free us from Indian occupation,” said a bystander running for cover.

“They (separatist groups) are not concerned about the sacrifices of people. They are just involved in dirty politics,” said Khalid Ahmad a Srinagar resident witnessing the developments.

To avoid embarrassment the groups were preventing media from covering the clashes.

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