Srinagar: Two persons including a nine-year-
old boy were killed today during firing by CRPF in Kashmir
valley to quell violence and clashes with mobs protesting
against fatal shootings involving security forces.
Public Engineering Minister and Congress leader Taj
Mohiuddin said tonight help of Army may be taken to defuse the
tense situation in Sopore and Baramulla if the circumstances
Chief Minister Omar Abdullah also took stock of the
situation at a high-level meeting.
Forty-eight persons including 32 policemen were also
injured in the latest of a series of clashes with security
forces, official sources said. The clashes have claimed the
lives of five persons since June 25 and eight in the last
The clashes erupted as security forces used force to
prevent thousands of people from marching towards curfew-bound
Sopore township of Baramulla district in violation of
prohibitory orders, on the call given by moderate faction of
Hurriyat Conference as part of a protest against the killing
of "innocent youth" over the past two weeks.
The first fatal casualty of the day was reported from
Sopore township, 55 kms from here, where people again defied
curfew imposed on Friday and staged a massive demonstration
against the killing of Bilal Ahmad Wani allegedly in CRPF
firing last evening.
The deceased identified as Tajamul ahmad Bhat (20), a
resident of Wadoora, was part of a mob which allegedly tried
to demolish a CRPF post near a hospital in the town when the
CRPF personnel manning the picket opened fire killing him on
the spot, a police spokesman said.
Refuting the police statement, Locals alleged that CRPF
personnel opened fire without any provocation on the
protestors who were marching towards the town to join the
people protesting against the killing of Wani and two other
youth who fell to the bullets of CRPF on June 25.
CRPF said it was forced to open fire in self defence
following a clear case of attempt to attack the post of
security forces. Home Secretary G K Pillai said the CRPF has
acted with utmost restraint.
While the situation was tense in Sopore, hundreds of
people from different villages of Baramulla started marching
towards Sopore but were stopped by police and CRPF at Delina,
45 kms from here.
The CRPF personnel reportedly opened fire leaving two
persons including a minor boy injured. The nine-year-old boy
identified as Tauqeer Ahmad Rather later succumbed in a
hospital, official sources said.
The call for march to Sopore was given by moderate faction
of Hurriyat Conference but all the senior leaders of the
separatist amalgam including its chairman Mirwaiz Umer Farooq
were placed under house arrest by the authorities in a bid to
prevent the march, fearing large scale violence.
In addition, several top separatist leaders including
JKLF chairman Mohammad Yaseen Malik, National Front Chairman
Nayeem Ahmad Khan and Muslim Khawateen Markaz Chief Yasmeen
Raja were detained by police.
The state government meanwhile appointed Mohammed
Shafi Khan as Special Commissioner for Sopore and Pankaj
Saxena as Special Inspector General to defuse the tense
situation in the apple town in north Kashmir.
Soon after the body of Wani was handed over to his next
of kin, the locals in Sopore came out in large numbers and
staged demonstration throughout the night against the killing.
The body was taken in a procession to different
localities in the town and was laid to rest at the local
martyrs` graveyard this morning amid massive protests.
Official sources said Policemen fired in air when the
protestors reached Sopore`s main chowk demanding withdrawal of
CRPF camps from the town, which had witnessed surge in
militancy-related violence since December last year.