2 More killed in Kashmir as protests, shutdown continue in Srinagar

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A day after an all-party delegation of 26 Members of Parliament concluded its two-day visit to twin capitals of Srinagar and Jammu, one more youth was shot during protest in Anantnag district. A total of two youths died on Tuesday. A 20-year-old youth, identified as Naseer Ahmed Dar, sustained multiple pellet wounds when security forces fired live ammunition to disperse the protesters and stone-pelting mobs at Seer Hamadan in Ananatnag on Tuesday. He was rushed to government sub-district hospital at Seer Hamadan, where doctors declared him brought dead.

 

Another 120 people were injured in the clashes and the condition of one of them, a young woman identified as Jameela, was stated to be critical. The security forces had lodged pellets into her head allegedly from close range. She has been admitted to a hospital in Srinagar for specialised treatment, police sources and health officials said. The area along Anantnag-Pahalgam road erupted in violence early on Tuesday after J&K police and CRPF personnel raided residential houses around 3 am to arrest youth accused of being involved in protests and violence.

 

Soon hundreds of people were out on the streets to protest. At dawn, the crowd swelled as people from neighbouring villages also joined the protest, reports said. The locals alleged that the security forces thrashed people and damaged properties. Police and CRPF personnel fired tear gas canisters and used pellet shotguns to quell the protests and soon the streets witnessed intense clashes between stone-hurling mobs and security forces, reports said.

 

Another youth, identified as Asif Majeed Nagoo alias Musaib who was injured during a similar incident on Sunday in north-western town of Sopore, succumbed to his injuries in a hospital in Srinagar earlier on Tuesday. His funeral at Langeat in Baramulla district was attended by thousands of people yelling ‘we want freedom’ and ‘Go India, go back,' reports said.

 

With these deaths, the toll in the ongoing unrest has reached to 75 while more than 10,000 civilians have been injured so far. Most of the people were killed in the firing by the security forces and other actions against protesters and stone-pelting mobs. Two policemen were also been killed in the unrest and, as per official statistics, more than 4,500 security personnel have been injured so far.

 

The Kashmir Valley has been on the boil since July 8 following the killing of Hizb-ul-Mujahedin commander Burhan Muzaffar Wani. According to reports, the protests and clashes between irate crowds and security forces on Tuesday have occurred at about half a dozen places including in Bandipore and Kulgam districts, at Rangreth and Mehjoor Nagar in Srinagar and Langaet in Baramulla district.

 

An irate crowd demolished an abandoned pillbox of the CRPF and then torched the debris in Srinagar's Mehjoor Nagar, witnesses said. The separatists, who are spearheading the ongoing agitation, have extended the shutdown programme till September 8. The shutdown has thrown normal life out of gear across the valley. Meanwhile, the authorities in Srinagar said that curfew was on Tuesday lifted from entire capital city following improvement in the situation.

 

However, restrictions under Section 144 of the CrPC will continue to remain in force in Srinagar and elsewhere in the Valley, barring the assembly of five or more persons anywhere. An all-party delegation headed by Home Minister Rajnath Singh visited twin capitals of Srinagar and Jammu on Sunday and Monday, but could meet only the leaders and representatives of various mainstream parties and some other groups and individuals. The separatists, who are calling the shots in prevailing situation, boycotted the delegation, saying no talks were possible within the ambit of India Constitution.

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