One more dead in Kashmir; Omar meets injured

Clashes between stone-pelting protesters and security forces today left one person dead and 10 others injured in Pulwama in violence-hit Kashmir Valley, where curfew remained in force in all ten districts.

Updated: Aug 05, 2010, 23:38 PM IST

Srinagar: Clashes between stone-pelting
protesters and security forces today left one person dead and
10 others injured in Pulwama in violence-hit Kashmir Valley,
where curfew remained in force in all ten districts.

Agitators assembled at a local degree college in
Pulwama, 35 kms from here, and raised slogans in protest
against deaths in firing by security forces and alleged human
rights violations.

Police said the protesters were asked to disperse and
when they refused despite a baton charge and lobbing of tear
gas shells, security forces opened fire at the rampaging mob
injuring 11 people.

The injured were rushed to a hospital where Shabir
Ahmad Malik, a resident of Newa, died, police said, adding
a number of police and CRPF men were injured in heavy stone
pelting by the protesters.

A police spokesman said, "The situation in the
Kashmir Valley remained by and large peaceful barring a few
incidents of curfew violations and stone pelting.

"Miscreants about 200 in number pelted stones on a
CRPF bunker in Wanihama Zakoora. The protesters were chased
away," he said.

Police said that security forces also opened fire in
Delina in Baramulla, leaving one person injured. In Sopore
town, police chased away demonstrators who defied
restrictions.

Curfew remained clamped in the Kashmir Valley today,
which had witnessed overnight clashes between violent
protesters and security forces.

45-year-old Gulam Nabi Bidyari, who was injured last
night when security forces opened fire to quell a
stone-throwing mob in Habakaddal in downtown Srinagar,
succumbed to his injuries in a hospital this morning, police
said.

The toll in the latest wave of violence in the Valley
since Friday has risen to 32.

Reaching out to the victims of current violence, Jammu
and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah visited the injured
in a leading hospital here, unmindful of a hostile crowd that
surrounded him.

Omar, whose government has been criticised for not
empathising with the injured and the families of those who
lost their lives, drove from his office to super speciality
Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) where he
talked to the patients and their attendants.

The Chief Minister went into the hospital taking
everyone by surprise, officials said, adding he decided to
go to the hospital following reports of lack of medicines for
patients and food for attendants.

As Omar entered a hospital ward, women came up to him
and narrated their experiences. He enquired about the
facilities being made available to the patients in the
hospital.

Earlier, the Chief Minister took stock of availability
of essential items, including baby food and medicines, in the
Valley and ordered setting up of a round-the-clock control
room for redressing grievances of people regarding such
supplies.

He chaired a high-level meeting and instructed that
the public distribution department be activated to mitigate
the difficulties of people in the prevailing situation.

The government also opened the Secretariat, which saw
a good number of employees turning up for duty.

Kashmir Valley was yesterday relatively peaceful
barring stray incidents and an episode of firing at a stone
pelting mob by security personnel here in the night in which
one person was killed.

Union Home Minister P Chidambaram and hardline
Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani had yesterday made
appeals for calm.

Meanwhile, the state government also released Rs 45
lakh to various hospitals including SKIMS for arranging free
and timely treatment of persons injured in the disturbances.

PTI