Three youths were killed and five injured as police opened fire to break up a demonstration in Anantnag, Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday. Many more were wounded in daylong clashes. The situation in north Kashmir remained tense, with most of the areas under curfew.

Reports from Anantnag said the three youths were killed when police fired at a crowd that was staging a protest against the death of five youths in north Kashmir in the past three days. The protesters were taking out a march when the police intercepted them. Witnesses said the police chased them down before opening fire.

Ishtiyaq Khandey (15) and Imtiaz Ahmad (17) were declared brought dead in the local hospital and Sajad ul Islam (19) died of his injuries on way to hospital. Of the five injured, the condition of one was stated to be critical.

As news about the killings spread, thousands of people took to the streets. The police again opened fire, but this time in the air. More police and CRPF personnel have been deployed in south Kashmir. Police officers are tight-lipped about who was involved in the firing, but did not blame the CRPF either.

Showkat Malik, Senior Superintendent of Police, Anantnag, said he could not talk as he was busy with the law and order situation. Deputy Commissioner Jaipal Singh said: “We do not know who opened fire.”

Meanwhile, the situation in north Kashmir remained tense. The curfew was extended to Baramulla too, as protests spread to the peripheries of Sopore and Baramulla. People defied the curfew at various places in Sopore and mobs staged rallies in Baramulla, defying the restrictions clamped under Section 144. At least four persons were injured.

Angry youth fought pitched battles with police on the peripheries of Sopore and staged rallies. The police retaliated with teargas shells and batons. The situation in the interior parts of the town, which has been under curfew since Friday evening, remains serious.