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Three killed, 70 injured in fresh violence in Kashmir Valley

Fresh violence on Friday erupted in the Kashmir Valley after days of relative calm with security forces opening fire to quell stone-pelting protesters who clashed with them at several places, leaving two persons dead and 70 others injured.



Srinagar: Three people, including a 14-year-old, were killed in firing by security forces and over 50 injured Friday in daylong clashes between the security forces and protesters across the Kashmir Valley. Mobs also ransacked the Sopore railway station and burnt a police post in Baramulla.

Strict restrictions were imposed on the movement of
people following a call by the separatists to march to Maisuma
in the heart of the city to protest the killing of youths
allegedly in firing by security forces during demonstrations.
Shoukat Ahmad Chopan and Mohammad Ahsan Ganai were killed
and seven others injured when security forces opened fire on a
mob at Arampora village of Sopore, 55 kms from here in
Baramulla district of north Kashmir this afternoon, police
said.

They said the people took to streets shortly after
Friday prayers and were heading towards Sopore town when the
security forces intercepted them and asked them to disperse.

However, the protesters turned violent and indulged in
stone-pelting on a CRPF picket. The security personnel opened
fire, resulting in injuries to seven persons who were rushed
to hospital. Chopan and Ganai succumbed to injuries at SMHS
hospital here, they said.

Seven persons were injured when police opened fire after
a group of youths went on rampage and set ablaze a vehicle
parked inside police station Pattan, 27 kms from here on
Srinagar-Baramulla national highway, police said.

They said the fire also damaged a single-storey building
within the police station complex but the main building
remained unaffected by the blaze. However, the window panes of
the building were smashed by the stone throwers, resulting in
injuries to at least 12 policemen including the Station House
Officer.

The condition of three of the injured protesters was
stated to be "critical".
Out of 70 injured in clashes, at least 10 suffered
bullet injuries and were undergoing treatment in different
hospitals.

The clashes come nearly 10 days after a person was
killed and another injured in police firing in self-defence on
a mob which turned violent during funeral of youth who had
drowned in Jhelum river in Baramulla district.

Condemning the killings, Opposition Peoples Democratic
Party (PDP) today said such incidents were contributing to
an "unprecedented worsening of situation".

PDP general secretary Mohammad Dilawar Mir, in a
statement here, accused the state administration of failing to
perform its duty.

The state unit of CPI(M) also expressed grief and
shock over the killings.

"Yet another unfortunate day of grief and gloom for
the people of the Valley. This unending bloodletting course
is bound to generate further anger and disillusionment among
our people," CPI(M) state secretary M Y Tarigami said and
appealed to the people to exercise restraint during protests.

Trouble started in Srinagar early today when security
forces allegedly opened fire on a stone-pelting mob at old
Channapora in uptown Srinagar, seriously injuring two youths.

The clashes soon spread to the adjoining localities,
including Rambagh and Barzulla on Srinagar-Airport road, as
people defied restrictions and indulged in violence.

Police and CRPF personnel fired dozens of warning
shots as teargas shelling and baton charge proved ineffective
to restore order, police said, adding three more persons were
injured and were undergoing treatment in various hospitals.

The condition of Mohammad Iqbal Khan and Mohammad Amir
is stated to be "critical", officials said.

The personnel of Special Operations Group (SOG) of
local police fired dozens of warning shots when hundreds of
people surrounded their camp in Baramulla district, 35 kms
from here, alleging that a youth had gone missing after he was
allegedly picked up by SOG four days back, police said.

Reinforcements were rushed to the scene and senior
officials assured protesters that the case will be
investigated, they said.

As the protesters refused to disperse, police burst
teargas shells and used batons to chase them away. The
protesters regrouped and later pelted stones at a police
station at nearby Pattan, they said adding 15 persons were
injured in the clashes.

Ten more persons were injured in clashes in Tral
township, 35 kms from here in Pulwama district of south
Kashmir shortly after Friday prayers.

Police said a group of youths took to streets and
pelted stones on Deputy Commissioner`s office in Shopian town,
52 kms from here in south Kashmir. The ensuing clashes left
six persons injured.

Fierce clashes between protesters and security forces
were witnessed in Baramulla district town resulting in
injuries to over 15 people. Five youths were injured when
security forces allegedly opened fire at Hanjiveera in Pattan
area of Baramulla district.

All the injured were brought to a hospital here and
the condition of two of them is stated to be "critical".

Shortly after Friday prayers, protesters took out a
march from Machoo on the outskirts of the city. The marchers
were later dispersed by police at Rambagh as they tried to
move towards Lal Chowk, police said.

With the separatists giving the march call to Maisuma
here, authorities imposed restrictions on the movement of
people in the city, parts of Budgam, Anantnag, Pulwama
districts and Sopore town since early this morning.

Normal life has been hit in Kashmir for the past five
weeks following the death of youth after he was allegedly hit
by a teargas shell near Rajourikadal in downtown Srinagar on
June 11 which sparked violent protests in the Valley.

PTI

From Zee News

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