11 dead, over 120 injured as violent protests rock Kashmir after Hizbul militant Burhan Wani's killing, CM calls for calm

The protests broke out even as thousands of people attended Wani's funeral in the Valley. A BJP party office was also attacked by a mob in Kulgam.

Last Updated: Jul 10, 2016, 00:43 AM IST
11 dead, over 120 injured as violent protests rock Kashmir after Hizbul militant Burhan Wani's killing, CM calls for calm

Srinagar: At least eleven people were killed on Saturday in clashes between security forces and protesters over the killing of top Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Muzaffar Wani in Jammu and Kashmir.

The protests broke out even as thousands of people attended Wani's funeral in the Valley. A BJP party office was also attacked by a mob in Kulgam.

Wani was buried on Saturday in his home village Tral in Pulwama district in the presence of some 20,000 people who defied a curfew.

More than 120 people, majority of whom were security personnel, were injured, the police said.

The protesters killed were identified as Aijaz Ahmed Thokru, a resident of Siligam in Anantnag, Yawar Manzoor Kondru of Anantnag, Khursheed Ahmed of Kulgam and Zubair Ahmed also of Kulgam, who was injured on Friday but succumbed to his injuries on Saturday, Adil Bashir of Dooru, Anantnag, Abdul Hamid Mochi, or Arwami village in Anantnag, Shaukat Ahmed of Bijbehara and Mohammad Asif of Kukurnag.

All except Kondru who drowned in the Jhelum as security forces sought to disperse a violent mob were killed when security forces retaliated to attacks by violent mobs on police stations, mobile posts, security force pickets, police patrol and security force vehicles, the officials said.

According to the officials, the mobs also burned down a police station in south Kashmir, and also attacked private and public vehicles on the highway.

Demonstrators also set fire to three police stations and two government buildings in Srinagar.

Three police had gone missing in the violence, and officers were forced to fire tear gas at the crowds and shoot their guns, said additional director general of Jammu and Kashmir police, S. M. Sahai.

Groups of youths pelted stones at police posts and police stations at Bandipora, Qazigund and Larnoo in Anantnag district. Eleven persons, including three policemen, have been injured during the clashes.

Stone pelting incidents were also reported from Sheeri, Kreeri, Delina, Pattan and Palhalan areas of north Kashmir's Baramulla district.

Fearing law and order problems in Kashmir the authorities today suspended the Amarnath Yatra.

Confirming the development, CRPF DG said, "As of now the Amarnath Yatra is suspended, all yatris have been given full protection."

"The Amarnath Yatra will recommence as soon as the situation improves," Prasad said.

The administration also announced that all exams from school to university level had been postponed as well as the National Eligibility Test and interviews of the State Public Commission.

The government suspended mobile Internet services in Kashmir Valley and curfew-like restrictions were imposed in parts of the Valley.

Meanwhile, the separatists announced that they will continue their shutdown on Sunday and Monday too to protest the "killing spree by the Indian security forces".

A huge number of security personnel have been deployed in areas like Pulwama, Shopian, Ananatnag and Sopore.

The rail services from Baramulla to Banihal town have also been suspended.

Former J&K chief minister Omar Abdullah asserted that Wani had become the new 'icon' for the frustrated and disaffected community in the Valley.

BJP leader Hina Bhatt acknowledged the fact that the separatists always extend their support to terrorist groups.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti appealed for calm while expressing "profound" grief and agony over the deaths during the protests and asked security forces to avoid use of disproportionate force for crowd control.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said Centre is working with the state government to bring normalcy in the Valley. He also expressed "deep anguish" over the "loss of precious lives in the incidents of violence" in Kashmir and appealed for calm.

A joint team of police and army had on Friday gunned down Wani and two of his associates during an encounter in the Anantnag district.

The 21-year-old Hizbul commander was considered the face of a new generation of militancy in Kashmir.

Wani, the son of a headmaster and a school dropout, joined the ranks of Hizbul Muhahideen in 2010 and went on to become a social media icon for the terror group. He carried a reward of Rs10 lakh on his head.

(With inputs from agencies)