Curfew fails to buy peace; 2 more killed in firing

Curfew fails to buy peace; 2 more killed in firing

31 July 2010
The Daily Excelsior
Inayat Jehangir

Srinagar: Two persons were killed in security forces firing during fresh violent clashes in Kashmir valley today while several others were injured as agitated mob violated curfew, imposed by the authorities following killing of four persons yesterday, and indulged in acts of arson setting on fire a railway station, a security forces camp and two vehicles of Indian Air Force. Almost entire Kashmir valley was placed under curfew from 6.30 a.m this morning, following killing of four persons in security forces firing in Sopore and Pattan towns of Baramulla district yesterday, as a pre-emptive measure to prevent further street protests, official sources said. Curfew was violated by protestors in many parts of the Valley especially Kreeri in Pattan, Amargarh in Sopore, Baramulla, Sheeri, Bijbehara, Sangam, Barzulla, Rambagh, Natipora and Chanapora areas. One youth was killed as security forces opened fire on an enraged mob at Naid Khai in Sumbal area of Bandipora district while another youth was killed during protests in Baramulla town. The deceased in the two incidents have been identified as Mudassir Ahmad Lone and Javeed Ahmad Teli respectively, the sources said. The death toll might increase over the next 24 hours as seven persons injured in security forces action since yesterday are still in a critical condition. The day began with violent protests in Kreeri village of Pattan area in Baramulla district where the protestors stormed a camp of Special Operations Group (SOG) and set it on fire, the sources said. They said the forces fired several rounds of tear smoke shells to quell the protests but in vain. They had to open firing on the protestors, resulting in injuries to six persons including two women, who were referred to a hospital here. Condition of one of them, identified as Hanifa, is critical. The mob later set a shed belonging to Horticulture department on fire. Police had to fire dozens of rounds of tear smoke shells and warning shots to disperse a mob which set on fire the Railway station at Amargarh in Sopore town of Baramulla district. At least six persons were injured in the police action. The train service in Kashmir valley has been stopped for the past several days as it has been on target of the protestors, especially in north Kashmir and some parts of the city. A large number of protestors charged on the headquarters of the 14th Battalion IRP at Naid Khai in Sumbal area and tried to set it ablaze, they said. The security forces opened firing in which one youth was killed while another youth is battling for life in a hospital here. SP Bandipora Junaid Ahmad was among several cops injured in stone pelting by the protestors after the firing incident. As the news of firing incident at Bandipora spread, a large number of people took to streets in Old Town area of Baramulla raising slogans against the security forces. As the protests turned violent, the security forces opened firing, killing one youth and injuring another. Four persons were injured, one of them critically, when security forces opened firing on a mob at Samboora in Kakapora area of Pulwama district. Condition of Omar Farooq, who has been hit by two bullets in his chest and shoulder, is battling for life at a hospital here. At Pampore, a group of protestors intercepted two vehicles of Indian Air Force and asked the personnel on board to get off the vehicles. While the Air Force personnel took shelter in a Bank building nearby, the mob set ablaze both the vehicles. At least a dozen persons were hurt when security forces fired tear smoke shells and warning shots to disperse protestors at Sangam in Anantnag district in south Kashmir. Incidents of stone pelting by the protestors and retaliatory firing by the security forces were reported from several localities in the city and elsewhere but there were no reports of anyone getting injured or hurt in these clashes. Meanwhile, giving police version of the events today, a police spokesman said situation in various parts of the valley took an ugly turn when violent mobs went on rampage at places like Kreeri, Amargarh, Naid Khai and Baramulla in north Kashmir; Panthachowk in Srinagar and Pampore, Bijbehara, Sangam and Kakpora in south Kashmir. 'In Kreeri, Baramulla, violent mobs attacked old police station and Horticulture buildings setting both on fire. The mob also assaulted a security force Jawan and attempted to snatch his weapon. Several policemen received injuries at this place,' he said. In Naid Khai in district Bandipora, an unruly mob attacked police camp causing injuries to a number of policemen including SP Bandipora, who suffered head injury, the spokesman said. In Baramulla town, the violent mob went on rampage, causing injuries and fractures to a number of policemen. At Panthachowk in Srinagar a violent stone pelting mob had to be dispersed by police, he added. At Pampore, a number of people gathered and attacked the local police station. They also attacked two vehicles of Air Force and set them on fire. A number of policemen received injuries in this incident also while rescuing the Air Force staff from these vehicles. At Bijbehara and Sangam bridge, violent mob violated curfew restrictions and attacked the local police station and the office of SDPO Bijbehara. A number of policemen received injuries in this incident. The unruly mobs also cut trees along the highway and blocked the NHW, the spokesman added. At Kakpora-Samboora, a lawless crowd attacked a posse of policemen injuring one DySP and several other policemen. A petrol bomb was also thrown at police vehicle as a result of which it was gutted completely, he added. In order to restrain these unruly crowds from causing further damage to the life and property, the police had to fire at different places when all other measures to pacify them failed as a result of which two persons were killed and 11 civilians also received injuries. 'General public and law abiding citizens are advised to respect curfew restrictions and prevent small minorities in breaking the law,' the spokesman said.


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