Clashes erupted between supporters of JKLF chairman Yasin Malik and security forces in Maisuma locality here on Wednesday, even as parts of the city observed a spontaneous shutdown ahead of a court's verdict on the quantum of sentence for the separatist leader convicted in a terror funding case, officials said.
Scores of people, including women, assembled at Malik’s residence at Maisuma, a short distance from Lal Chowk city centre, and raised slogans in support of the separatist leader, the officials said, adding that the protesters took out a protest march around the area.
The protesters tried to move towards Maisuma Chowk and clashed with security forces, they said. Some of the protesters pelted stones on the security forces, who fired teargas shells to disperse the crowd, the officials said.
However, there were no reports of any injury, they said. Most of the shops and business establishments in Maisuma and adjoining areas, including some shops at Lal Chowk, were shut, they added.
According to the officials, shops in some areas of the old city have also been shut, but the public transport is plying normally. Security forces have been deployed in strength in the city to avoid any law and order problems, they said.
Malik, the chief of banned JKLF, was on May 19 convicted by a Delhi court under the stringent anti-terror law in a case related to funding of terror activities in Jammu and Kashmir, after he pleaded guilty to all charges framed against him.
Special Judge Praveen Singh had then posted the matter for May 25 to announce the quantum of punishment and also directed the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to assess Malik's financial condition to determine the amount of fine that could be imposed.