Tension continues in Kashmir Valley

Mehbooba visits Kupwara as clashes spread to Bandipora and Srinagar

April 16, 2016 11:32 pm | Updated December 04, 2021 10:55 pm IST - SRINAGAR:

People raise slogans against security forces at Natnusa in Kupwara district on Saturday. — Photo: Nissar Ahmad

People raise slogans against security forces at Natnusa in Kupwara district on Saturday. — Photo: Nissar Ahmad

Tension continued in the Kashmir Valley after the death of five civilians in firing by security forces as the shutdown called by separatists, street clashes and curfew-like restrictions brought life to a standstill for the fifth straight day on Saturday.

Large parts of Srinagar and Kupwara district in north Kashmir remained under curfew-like restrictions. Internet services remained suspended. Clashes between security forces and protesters continued in Bandipora, Ganderbal, Srinagar and Kupwara districts.

An alleged attempt to molest a schoolgirl at Handwara in Kupwara district on Tuesday sparked violent protests. Attempts by the security forces and the army to quell the protests left , leaving five persons dead in four incidents of firing.

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Kumar Singh visited Kupwara on Saturday afternoon and met families of the victims. Ms. Mufti said she had made it clear to Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and Army officers that such incidents were “unacceptable” and called for “maximum restraint.” Reiterating her demand for “exemplary punishment for those found guilty,” Ms. Mufti said: “I am deeply saddened by the unfortunate events that led to the death of four young boys and a woman. The Standard Operating Procedure should not remain a mere word but become a potent tool for dealing with law and order situations.”

A police picket was set afire in Bandipora. The police used teargas shells at several places in Ganderbal to disperse protesters. Several youths were detained in Kangan district. In areas under six police stations of Srinagar, iron barricades and concertina wires blocked the roads.

Mufti’s visit too little, too late: NC

The National Conference has described Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s visit to Kupwara as “too little and too late.”

“Ms. Mufti chose to remain in New Delhi while youths were losing their lives in the Valley. PDP leaders blaming the youths for their own deaths indicates that the judicial inquiry is eyewash,” NC provincial president Nasir Aslam Wani said.

Handwara MLA Sajad Lone has asked the elders and members of civil society “to get together and ensure that there is provocation or incitement.”

Separatists expressed concern over the Centre’s decision to mobilise more troops for the State. “New Delhi has decided to send more troops to ‘prevent further loss of lives’. Aren’t half-a-million in Kashmir enough to kill,” asked Hurriyat faction chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq.

Dukhtran-e-Millat chief Syeda Asiya Andrabi said: “More forces are being called in to curb the growing voices of the people.”

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