1st international marathon disrupted due to protests in Srinagar

Srinagar, Sep 13 (UNI) The first ever 21-km-long marathon was today disrupted following clashes between pro-freedom demonstrators and security forces in the city outskirts at Habbak Hazratbal.

As thousands of people assembled at Hazratbal to take part in the ‘Big Kashmir Marathon’, scores of youth among the participants shouted anti-national and pro-freedom slogans.

However, security forces deployed in the area swung into action and resorted to lathicharge to disperse the protestors, which had no effect on the demonstrators. The security forces later burst few teargas shells to disperse the demonstrators, who were pelting stones.

Meanwhile, reacting to the disturbance caused in the marathon, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and National Conference (NC) working president Omar Abdullah taking to micro-blogging site twitter, said, "The theme for the 5 KM run was 'save the Dal'. It's such a pity that politics had to come in the way of that also."

"I was looking forward to a nice, quiet run which wasn't to be. Just as well I was advised against participating," he added. The marathon was scheduled to commence from Naseem Bagh at Kashmir University, where the clashes took place. The marathon, in which professional runners from different parts of the country and abroad were to participate, was to promote healthy lifestyle and raise awareness about the need to protect dying water bodies like Dal Lake.

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