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Updated: June 29, 2010 02:26 IST

Tension as 2 more die in CRPF firing

Shujaat Bukhari
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Protesters throw stones at a policeman as he runs for cover during a clash near Srinagar on Monday.
Protesters throw stones at a policeman as he runs for cover during a clash near Srinagar on Monday.

Two boys were killed in north Kashmir on Monday in firing by the Central Reserve Police Force, during clashes with crowds protesting shootings involving security forces.

The CRPF opened fire on people attempting to take out processions to Sopore from its outskirts and villages surrounding it.

At least 60 people, including a Senior Superintendent of Police, were injured as protesters clashed with police.

Only 13 hours earlier a youth was killed in CRPF firing in Sopore, where curfew continued for the fourth day.

Reports said 17-year-old Tajamul Bhat was killed when the CRPF opened fire near Wadoora on a procession heading to Sopore, in response to a call by the Hurriyat Conference (Geelani).

The police and the CRPF deployed there tried to stop them but as the marchers attempted to break through, the paramilitary forces resorted to firing.

An eyewitness charged that the CRPF picket stationed at Shah Kar theatre “openly fired on us.”

The firing provoked more street protests, with people raising pro-freedom slogans.

Thousands defied curfew to join the funeral of Bilal Wani who was killed on Sunday and to protest the new killing. Police said militants attacked a police station in the town.

Hours after the killing of Tajamul, nine-year-old Asif Hassan Rather was killed when CRPF opened fire on another procession moving towards Sopore. The protesters were intercepted near Delina.

Asif who was shot in the chest was rushed to hospital, but died on the way. Doctors said he was brought dead.

Another person, Abid Gojri, received a bullet wound in his leg. “He is in a critical condition,” his relative said.

Soon after the incidents of firing, authorities jammed telephone services in the area to stop the “rumour mill.”

In Srinagar also police had a tough time controlling a procession heading for Sopore. Thousands marched on the Srinagar-Baramulla highway and covered 10 km. before they were dispersed.

Police opened fire in the air, used tear gas shells and resorted to cane-charge. Several people, including 32 police men, were injured. Many vehicles were also damaged.

SSP Srinagar Syed Ashaq Bukhari was injured in stone-pelting by the crowd, which also tried to attack the Parimpora police station but it was foiled.

Inspector General of Police, Kashmir Zone, Farooq Ahmad said the situation was under control though tense.

“After the death of two boys there is tension but the situation is still under control” he told The Hindu. Police had put under arrest separatist leaders including Mirwaiz Umar Farooq.

Meanwhile, Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Sagar on Sunday said that “the CRPF had gone out of control as there was total lack of command.” Mr. Sagar also said Home Minister P. Chidambaram should immediately visit Kashmir and “rein in the CRPF.”

However, PCC chief Saifuddin Soz said the J&K police administration should “declare unequivocally that it was absolutely responsible for law and order in the State, especially in Kashmir where, unfortunately, civilian killings have become a routine.”

Mr. Sagar's statement that the CRPF was not obeying the orders of the government has not produced any positive results on the ground, he said.

He also said the veracity of the Minister's statement is yet to be corroborated by the J&K Police.

The civilian deaths in CRPF firing have been widely condemned by political parties, with many demanding the resignation of Chief Minister Omar Abdullah.

Charges refuted

PTI reports from New Delhi:

The CRPF has refuted allegations of high-handedness in tackling protesters in Jammu and Kashmir and said it was working along with the State police.

“The CRPF is working along with the Magistrate and the Jammu and Kashmir Police,” CRPF Director General Vikram Srivastava said.

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Even in US, police are authorized to shoot when attacked by rocks. Per
last week's incident on mexico border where a stone thrower was shot to death- it was later discovered that the attacker was a known criminal. Protesting and trying to injure (or kill) police and military are two vastly different things.

from:  Vijay Kumar
Posted on: Jun 30, 2010 at 23:53 IST

Instead of using gun-fire like bullets and rubber bullets, police must use powerful water connons to disperse the unruly crowd as is in Thailand. Such an action would ultimately lead them to health clinics for treatment of cold & cough and realisation.

from:  Vyas K Susarla
Posted on: Jun 29, 2010 at 08:29 IST

It's not CRPF which is at fault but these separatist leaders who are only interested in their personal profit and call so many bandhs and protests to disturb the Vally life. They use such incidents to make their plan concrete.

from:  jitender kadiyan
Posted on: Jun 29, 2010 at 08:22 IST

Today we are in the information world where you have access to all sorts of commercial medias looking for exploitation of the situations in each and every corner of the country. In a democratic setup like India protects are welcome, but not with violence and loss of life. Violence and loss of life, I feel they are the indicators for poverty and illiteracy. The present situation in Kashmir clearly indicates that how some political parties exploit the situation for their survival.

from:  Venky
Posted on: Jun 29, 2010 at 05:54 IST

This is a new form of terrorism and must be crushed with an iron hand. These protests are well orchestrated to provoke the security forces to either retaliate or get mauled by a rampaging mob. It is an ugly mischief. If you look at the pattern these are all teenagers who have been killed.Secessionist and their mentors sitting across borders are trying to make a news everyday. It is not right move to restrain the security forces as that gives an idea to these professionally trained protesters to use higher degree of provocation. I fully support the idea of crushing these protests with an iron hand.

from:  Rajeev
Posted on: Jun 29, 2010 at 03:05 IST

With reference to the Kashmir seperatist activites, India should stop playing the ongoing "cat and mouse" game and should act like China did during the Tienamen square protests for Democracy in 1989 with Tanks and show of force.Mere presence of CRPF without a clear goal would endup making the CRPF a target like a sitting ducks.

from:  vinod vinjamuri M.D
Posted on: Jun 29, 2010 at 00:33 IST
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