July 2016 News

Another Youth Dies, Death Toll Touches 50

24 July 2016
Greater Kashmir
Shabir ibn Yusuf and Khalid Gul

Srinagar: A civilian and a policeman succumbed to their injuries on Sunday, taking the overall death toll in the ongoing Kashmir unrest to 50 in 16 days, even as normal life across the Valley remained crippled due to unabated curfew and restrictions. Several people were injured in fresh clashes, according to reports. SOUTH KASHMIR: Curfew remained in place in South Kashmir for the 16th consecutive day while protests continued at several places. The condition of a teenager, who was injured in forces' firing at Kakpora Pulwama recently, continued to remain critical, according to doctors. A youth Samir Ahmad Bhat of Khanmoh, who was admitted in SK Institute of Medical Sciences Srinagar on July 10 with a bullet injury, succumbed on Sunday, a doctor said. Samir had already been operated upon but his condition continued to be critical, he said. He was hit by a bullet in chest during protests in Pampore area. Witnesses said thousands participated in his funeral prayers at Khanmoh amid pro-freedom sloganeering before he was laid to rest. Reports said curfew continued in Anantnag, Bijbehara, Mattan, Kulgam, Kaimoh, Pulwama, Kakpora, Pampore, Awantipora and Shopian. Locals said forces had erected concertina wire at several places to restrict movement of people. Strict curfew was enforced in Kakpora area that witnessed violent protests on Friday, resulting in injuries to more than a dozen people. A class 9th student Asif Ahmad Reeshi of Sambora had sustained critical injury when forces fired at him while he on a bike driven by his friend. 'He had bullet injury in his head and was operated upon but his condition continues to be critical,' a doctor said. Protests, however, erupted in the area late on Sunday evening when deployment of forces was being withdrawn. Reports of protests and clashes also came in from Awantipora and adjoining Charsoo area where an 18-year-old youth Mushtaq Ahmad was killed in forces' firing on Friday. Clashes also erupted in Ruhmoo, Tahab areas of Pulwama district. A policeman, injured in attack on a police station in Kulgam, succumbed to his injuries at a Srinagar hospital on Sunday, police said. The slain cop was identified as Mudasir Ahmad of Bandipora. The cop had sustained critical injuries during protests at Yaripora on July 15. Five other policemen were also injured in the clashes. Police had alleged that while trying to deal with the law and order problem, militants hurled grenade inside Yaripora police station, injuring six cops. However, locals said, the policeman was injured when some explosive material went off inside the police station. CENTRAL KASHMIR: Reports said in Ganderbal district, clashes erupted at Fatehpora, Saloora and Manasbal. A report said five youth received pallet injuries in police action, one among them critical. They said besides heavy teargas shelling, forces resorted to aerial firing to disperse the protestors at Saloora. In Fatehpora, hundreds of protesters took to streets against the civilian killings by forces in Kashmir in the past 14 days. They said police and paramilitary forces intercepted them, triggering clashes. In the ensuing police action, more than dozen people received injuries, with five of them reportedly hit with pellets. Restrictions remained imposed in Ganderbal town and other 'volatile areas' of the district, officials said. In Budgam district, protests against civilian killings were reported from many places. 'There were protests at three places. But the protesters dispersed peacefully and nobody was injured,' Senior Superintendent of Police Budgam, Abdul Wahid Shah, told Greater Kashmir. By and large, the situation in Srinagar district remained peaceful even as curfew was imposed strictly to foil protest demonstrations. The roads across the city wore a deserted look and were dotted with police and paramilitary forces. The police and paramilitary forces had blocked the entry and exit points of Srinagar to stop movement of people. Barricades were erected and several junctions closed by armored vehicles and barbed wire. Officials said areas falling under eight Police Stations remained under curfew while as Section 144 was imposed in rest of the city 'to avoid any untoward incident.' 'We faced stiff resistance at the time of withdrawal of forces from city areas on Sunday evening,' a middle-rung police official said. Pertinently, in most city areas, forces ransack residential houses, damage windowpanes and vehicles at the time of their withdrawal from deployment, local residents say. NORTH KASHMIR: Reports from curfew-bound Kupwara district said amid shutdown, protests erupted at Tikipora area of Lolab and two other places. They said hundreds of people took to streets in the area and clashed with police and paramilitary forces. More than a dozen people have received injuries in the police action. However, there was no report of grievous injury to anybody. Kupwara town, Trehgam, Kralpora, Handwara, Vilgam and other areas remained under curfew. In Bandipora district, protests erupted at three places. Reports said that protesters clashed with forces and later dispersed peacefully. Similar reports were received from Police District Sopore, where protestors clashed with forces at more than five places. However no one was injured. Reports reaching here from Baramulla district said police had blocked all routes to stop protests. However, SSP Baramulla Imtiyaz Hussain said there were no protests and day passed off peacefully. POLICE VERSION: 'The situation throughout the Kashmir valley remained peaceful and under control today. There were no reports of any untoward incident from anywhere in the valley although some stray stone pelting incidents were reported from isolated places,' a police spokesman said. 'There was no curfew in most of the towns-areas of Kashmir valley although curfew remained imposed in eight Police Stations of Srinagar and towns of Awantipora, Kulgam and Anantnag.' 'NO MARCH': The J&K Government has decided not to allow Islamabad (Anantnag) march called by the resistance camp on Monday, police said. 'We have decided not to allow the march. Strict curfew would continue in major towns and cities across Kashmir,' a senior police officer told Greater Kashmir. The resistance leadership has asked people in large numbers to move towards Anantnag town on Monday and participate in a rally there after Zuhr (afternoon) prayers to express solidarity with local residents and pay glowing tributes to youth killed there recently.

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