One person was killed and five were injured on Sunday when police fired on people protesting against the death of a youth on Saturday evening.
A curfew-like situation is evident in many parts of Srinagar as the authorities try to control the situation, which has turned volatile with three civilian deaths in 10 days.
Witnesses said the police opened fire to break a protest demonstration in Waniyar, when a large number of people were returning after burying Rafiq Bangroo, the teenager who died at the S.K. Institute of Medical Sciences. Rafiq was injured 10 days back during police firing.
Tempers ran high as people assembled to bury Rafiq. The mourners took out a procession, shouting anti-India and pro-freedom slogans. “Everything was fine and we were returning home in a procession. The CRPF [Central Reserve Police Force] men returned to their bunkers, but the police opened fire on the procession,” said a witness.
Javed Ahmad Mallah, 25, who was injured, died on way to the hospital. Another injured person is stated to be critical.
The incident caused the situation to deteriorate, with people taking to the streets to protest against the firing. Authorities immediately deployed the CRPF and the police in the affected areas. “The situation is surely tense, but under control,” a senior police officer said.
Senior Superintendent of Police Javed Riyaz told The Hindu that the protesters attacked and ransacked a bunker and a police post. He said the police tried to use minimum force, but the people turned violent. A case has been registered and the cause of firing is being probed, Mr. Riyaz said.
Javed's death evoked widespread condemnation from all political parties, who impressed upon the government to “put a brake on the senseless use of force.”
Calling the incident “a barbaric act,” both factions of the Hurriyat Conference have asked the people to observe a bandh on Monday.
The Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front, Jamiat-e-Ahla Hadees and Jamiat-e Islami have extended support to the strike call.
Communist Party of India (Marxist) State secretary M.Y. Tarigami said whosoever was involved in these killings must be brought to book. Referring to the deaths of Tufail Ahmad Matoo, Rafiq and Javed, he said claims of zero tolerance and prompt investigations into these unfortunate happenings had proved hollow. He urged the government to act unhesitatingly against those involved.
Mr. Tarigami requested the administration to maintain restraint while dealing with peaceful demonstrators. He also appealed to the people to hold peaceful demonstrations and desist from violent measures while giving vent to their grievances.
People's Democratic Party (PDP) has also condemned the killing and said no one was safe in the hands of the “police in this State.” “It is lawlessness, and the government is insensitive to a mayhem-like situation,” a PDP spokesperson said.