Kashmiri youth loot 70 guns; security forces on alert as curfew continues
The looted arms could be used to target security personnel during protests, which are most intense on Friday.
Srinagar: While violence may have subsided in the Kashmir Valley five days after one of the most-wanted terrorists, Hizbul Mujahideen's Burhan Wani, was gunned down, security forces are preparing for the Friday prayers amid reports that protesters may be readying an armoury.
Protests against security forces and raising of Pakistan and Islamic State flags after Friday prayers have become a norm in the Valley, but this Friday could turn out to be different.
The Times of India reported on Wednesday that security forces suspect a plot to build an armoury by snatching arms from the security forces is already being executed.
And the looted arms could be used to target security personnel during protests, which are most intense on Friday.
It is also a possibility that these arms could make their way into the hands of militants.
In the violent protests that broke out following the death of Burhan Wani in Anantnag in an encounter with security forces on Friday, a mob ran over a police station in Damhal Hanji Pora in Kulgam and took away some 70 semi-automatic and automatic weapons of the J&K police.
Several other attempts were reported in Tral, Karalpura and other areas wherein a group of men tried to snatch away weapons from security personnel.
CRPF also reported that its men were attacked and attempts were made to snatch their weapons.
Snatching of weapons from the police and security forces used to be a common occurrence some 10 years ago but the practice had gradually waned. However, Wani's death has seen the return of such attempts.
Wani, who had become the poster boy of militancy in Kashmir over the last few years, had called on the youth in J&K to attack security forces and loot their weapons.
Meanwhile, curfew continued for the fifth day in most parts of the Valley today as death toll from the recent violence rose to 34.
Despite relative calm in the Valley on Tuesday, clashes occurred between the security forces and unruly mobs at more than three dozen places.