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Youth killed as clashes continue in Kashmir

Kashmiris shout slogans during a protest in Srinagar onFriday.—PHOTO: NISSAR AHMAD  

A youth was killed and scores injured as violent protests continued for 49th day on Friday in the Valley, while authorities arrested several top separatist leaders and extended curfew to large parts of the Valley to foil a separatists’ march in Srinagar.



One protester, identified as Showkat Ahmad, died in security forces’ firing during protests in Pulwama’s Haal area. The civilian death toll in street agitation has risen to 69 since protests broke out after Hizb commander Burhan Wani’s killing on July 8.



Geelani, Mirwaiz arrested



Separatist leaders, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Syed Ali Geelani, were arrested when they tried to march towards Eidgah. “The Mirwaiz has been arrested and shifted from the Nigeen Police Station to some undisclosed location,” alleged a Hurriyat spokesman.



In the wake of the separatists’ call for a ‘pro-freedom’ march towards Eidgah in Srinagar, protests followed after Friday prayers in parts of Bandipora, Shopian, Baramulla, Srinagar, Pulwama, Anantnag and Kulgam districts. Around 10 protesters were hit by pellets Palhalan, Sangam and Shopian areas.



An anti-militancy operation was called off in south Kashmir’s Tral area after locals hurled stones and blocked the streets to help a local militant escape.



The police on Friday appealed to people to stay away from processions “to avoid loss of life”. “It has been observed that militants slip into public protests and on many occasions resort to hurling of grenades and firing,” said the spokesman.





Earlier, the Mirwaiz criticised Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s remarks on protesters “out to buy toffee and milk from security establishments”. “Ms. Mufti’s statement is heartless, unbelievable and shameless to say the least. It was aimed at justifying the killings of the innocent civilians. Such remarks stem from anti-Kashmir mindset and revenge attitude,” alleged the Mirwaiz.



Separatists are planning to march towards Srinagar’s 15 Corps centre at Badami Bagh on Saturday afternoon to hand over a letter to the General Office in Commanding, asking him “to vacate Jammu and Kashmir”. The Army has warned separatists against dragging it in the politics.





A spokesman of separatist JKLF has accused the authorities of “trying to shift Chairman Yasin Malik on pretext of admitting him to the All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) Delhi for some necessary medical tests.”



“Mr. Malik has refused to accept this dubious offer. He was denied every medical facility for many weeks and after seeing his health deteriorating the police took him to a Srinagar hospital and shifted him to Central Jail. Since then his health is comparatively better and he has never made any complaint about his health to the jail authorities,” said the JKLF spokesman.



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Printable version | Apr 23, 2021 1:19:12 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/Youth-killed-as-clashes-continue-in-Kashmir/article14591391.ece

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