2 die as Kashmir protesters defy curfew

Shujaat Bukhari
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Two civilians were killed and over 40 injured on Saturday in firing by security forces in Kashmir, as people in dozens of places across the Valley defied curfew and clashed with the police. The death toll has gone up to six in two days.

Authorities imposed curfew in most of the parts of Kashmir, including Srinagar city, after the death of four persons in police and CRPF firing on Friday.

Four persons were injured on Saturday morning when the police and paramilitary forces opened fire on protesters who attacked and torched the Sopore railway station near Amargarh, 48 km north of Srinagar. They were protesting against Friday's killing of two villagers by the security forces.

A 17-year-old boy identified as Fayaz Ahmed Teli was killed and seven persons were injured when security forces opened fire to quell a mob, which was throwing stones, at Naidkhai village of Bandipora district.

Kreeri tehsil of Baramulla district remained on the boil for the second consecutive day; over 20 people, including a woman, were injured when the police and the SOG opened fire on protesters who set on fire a local SOG camp and a government building.

The woman is reported to be battling for life at the Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences, Soura.

The protesters were demanding to know the whereabouts of a 17-year-old youth, Faraq Bashir Bukhari, who went missing on Wednesday. On Friday around 20 persons were injured in the same village after police and the SOG opened fire on them during a protest demonstration.

People in the area allege that the boy disappeared while in the custody of the SOG personnel.

The situation in Baramulla town, 55 km north of Srinagar, took an ugly turn after the death of a 20-year-old boy in police firing on Saturday.

The dead, identified as Javed Ahmad Teli of Bunglowbagh Baramulla was injured when the police opened fire on stone-throwing protesters. He was shifted to the SKIMS Soura.

Confirming the death of Javed, Dr. Tabish, Medical superintendent of Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences, Soura, said: “The boy had received a firearm injury on the head.”

As per latest reports from the north Kashmir town, police resorted to firing again after angry youth took to the streets as news of the death spread.

Due to strict implementation of curfew in Srinagar, the situation remained under control, but tense.

In South Kashmir, people in dozens of places defied curfew. At Pampore, just 15 km south of Srinagar city, protesters set on fire two vehicles belonging to the Air Force, after taking the occupants hostage for several hours. They were later released unhurt. Three persons were injured in clashes with the police and security forces in the town.

At Sangam in south Kashmir, at least 12 people allegedly received bullet injuries when the police opened fire on protesters. At Kakpora, four people were injured in police firing as they tried to defy curfew and take out a procession.

There were similar reports of people defying curfew and taking to streets from several other places in north, central and south Kashmir.

Maintaining that the police and the CRPF exercised maximum restraint, a senior police official said: “At several places, unruly mobs caused extensive damage to government property and injured policemen… The authorities are trying their best to control the situation.”

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah reviewed the deteriorating law and order situation with a group of Ministers and deputed teams of Ministers to the affected areas to monitor the situation.



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