Two killed, curfew lifted from all parts of Valley9 September 2010
The Daily Excelsior
Srinagar: An elderly man succumbed to injuries while a youth was shot dead by Army in 'mistaken identity' as authorities lifted curfew from all parts of Kashmir today, restoring normal life in the Valley after hard line faction of Hurriyat Conference suspended its protests for three days to allow the people to celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr. However, the festive look of the markets on Eid eve was accompanied by some gloom as an elderly man injured during clashes between security forces and stone pelters near SDA Colony in Bemina area of the city succumbed today. While police said Ghulam Ahmad Guroo was hit by a brick hurled by miscreants, the residents of his native Khujibagh area in Sumbal area of Bandipora said he had been hit by a tear smoke shell. With the death of Guroo, the toll in the ongoing agitation in Kashmir valley, which began with the killing of a 17-year-old boy at Rajouri Kadal in the city on June 11, has now risen to 70. Tension gripped north Kashmir Bandipora district after Army personnel shot dead a civilian in a case of mistaken identity in Kudora forest area. Manzoor Ahmad Pathar was shot dead by the troops of 14 RR while he was moving from a dhok in forest area towards his residence in Kudora. A Defence spokesman said the troops challenged the person after noticing some suspicious movement during an ambush at around 2.30 a.m. 'The man ran away, prompting the jawans to open fire,' he added. The spokesman said the injured person was evacuated to a hospital but died before he could be treated. District Magistrate Srinagar Mehraj Ahmad Kakroo said curfew was lifted from the Srinagar city in the wee hours today to facilitate the preparations of the people for forthcoming Eid festival. Curfew was also lifted from Anantnag and Bijbehara towns in south Kashmir where it was imposed following violent protests in these areas on Tuesday. Authorities had clamped curfew after killing of four persons in security forces firing at Palhalan in Pattan area of Baramulla district on Monday. The lifting of curfew saw markets across Kashmir valley, except for Ganderbal, coming to life very early in the morning with thousands of people flocking to make purchases for the Eid, which is likely to be celebrated on Saturday. Bakeries and confectionaries witnessed massive rush of customers and most of these outlets were out of stock well before evening. 'We are not sure how long the normalcy will last. So we are preparing only limited quantity of bakery and sweets as our products do not have a long shelf life,' a bakery owner said. Garment shops, including those dealing in kidswear, and gift shops also had brisk sales. The maddening rush of shoppers resulted in massive traffic jams in the city and vehicles were moving at snails pace through most of the day in the commercial hub of Lal Chowk, Budhash Chowk and Residency Road. All shops, Government and private offices, banks and financial institutions, business establishments, school and colleges and petrol pumps across the Valley resumed their work after remaining closed for past two days. Serpentine queues were witnessed at bank ATMs as more than Rs 40 crore were withdrawn from these machines in a single day. Jammu and Kashmir Bank accounted for the most of the withdrawals as Rs 31 crore were disbursed through 80,000 transactions. Normal life in Ganderbal district town remained paralysed as a mob started pelting stones at security forces to protest their alleged high handedness while dealing with similar protests yesterday. One person was injured yesterday, which had led to today's protest. The security forces used tear smoke shells and baton to maintain law and order and there were no reports of anyone getting injured in the clashes today. Some miscreants intercepted and set ablaze one Maruti Car bearing number 2746-DAC, driven by a Head Constable of Jammu and Kashmir Police. The Head Constable managed to escape from the spot. However, his car was damaged. Meanwhile, police said the claims that the strikes were voluntary and were not forced were today belied as police today arrested three persons who were carrying the posters threatening the people to support the strike calls or face serious consequences. According to SP Kulgam Keshav Ram Chaurasia, police party intercepted one motorcycle bearing registration number JK03B-0106 carrying three persons. During search of these three persons - Sayar Ahmad Ganie, Nawaz Ahmad Teli and Nawaz Ahmad Teli, they were found carrying about 45 objectionable and unlawful posters. They were detained for further investigation. On interrogation, they revealed that these posters were to be pasted on the shops which remained open during the day and did not support the call for strike. 'A line of the poster reads 'Jo log is appeal ko kharij karenge un kay khilaf sakht karawahi ki jayegi', he said. The arrested persons further revealed that these posters were provided by a leader of Hurriyat Conference led by Geelani, who had also directed them to organize the stone pelting in the area, the SP said. The person who had provided the posters has also been arrested. The arrested persons have been booked under Sections 120B, 124A, 505 RPC and investigation taken up.