Demonstrators clash with police at several places over Guru’s hanging
Amid continued curfew and shutdown over Afzal Guru’s execution, clashes broke out at several places in Kashmir on Sunday killing at least one protester and injuring 10 others.
Informed sources said that on the second day of the curfew and the Hurriyat-sponsored shutdown, small groups of demonstrators violated the prohibitory orders and clashed with police and paramilitary forces at about a dozen places in the Valley.
Both factions of the separatist amalgam Hurriyat Conference have called for four days of mourning and shutdown.
A crowd of over a hundred demonstrators attacked a convoy of the Central Reserve Police Force at Watirgam in the Baramulla-Sopore area of north Kashmir. An assistant commandant was injured and three vehicles were damaged. Inspector General of Police, Kashmir, S.M. Sahai told The Hindu that five demonstrators were injured when the CRPF opened fire. Two critically injured persons were rushed to hospital in Srinagar.
Late on Sunday, Superintendent of Police, Hazratbal, Abdul Qayoom refuted ‘rumours’ that one of the injured died. “One Obaidullah sustained gunshots in the abdomen and another, Sajjad Zahoor, got hit in the head. Both have undergone surgery and are battling for life at the Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences Soura,” Mr. Qayoom said.
The sources said Deputy Commissioner of Baramulla, Ghulam Ahmad Khwaja, had a narrow escape when a 100-strong mob attacked his convoy at Palhalan on the Srinagar-Baramulla road in the evening. At least three persons were injured in retaliatory action by the police.
IGP Kashmir said a group of violent demonstrators clashed with police and paramilitary forces near Sumbal, in Bandipore district of north Kashmir. A boat carrying the fleeing demonstrators capsized while crossing the river Jhelum between Botwena and Wongipora, killing one Tariq Ahmed Bhat. His body was handed over to the family. Residents, however, claimed that the civilians had jumped into the river when the police chased them.
The sources said Guru’s residential area of Jageer in Sopore remained the worst hit as over 3,000 people of half-a-dozen villages gathered and staged a protest. Intermittent clashes occurred, but there were no casualties
Reports said four persons sustained minor injuries in other clashes.
As on Saturday, cable television services, SMS and the Internet remained completely shut on Sunday. Newspaper editors complained that police appeared at their printing presses and offices late on Saturday night and asked the staff not to publish the dailies. Consequently, no newspapers were published in Srinagar on Sunday.