As tensions mount, curfew imposed in Srinagar

Stone pelting continued through the night in the city despite curfew being imposed.

Srinagar: Stone pelting continued through the night in this Jammu and Kashmir summer capital where curfew was imposed Tuesday in the wake of heightened tensions following four more people being killed in firing by security forces the day before.

With the killing of four people in Baramulla district`s Palhalan village, 35 km from here, the toll of those killed in the ongoing unrest since June 11 has gone up to 69. Fifteeen people were injured, some of them critically, when security forces intervened to clear the protester blockade at Palhalan on the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad highway.

Tension spiralled following the incident.

Hundreds of mourners spent the night on the highway at Palhalan, Pattan, Singhpora and other areas.

"We offered Shab-e-Qadr (the holiest night as per Muslim belief) prayers on the road. It has been one of the bloodiest incident since June 11 and we cannot take it lying down," said a resident of Pattan town who did not want to be named.

In Srinagar, hundreds of locals pelted stones through the night in some parts of the old city. A large mob gathered around the Nowhatta police station in the old city, attacking the policemen inside with stones, bricks and rocks.

Even though the violent mob persisted in sustained stone pelting, the police used utmost restraint, firing only warning shots in the air to disperse the protesters.

"Curfew has been imposed in Srinagar city as a precautionary measure to prevent violence. Restrictions have also been imposed in Anantnag town," a senior police officer said here.

Some of those injured in the firing Monday are battling for life, doctors said.

"Some of the injured admitted in our hospital have sustained critical gunshot wounds. One of the injured has been put on the life support system. He has suffered a bullet injury in the neck," said an attending doctor at the Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences Soura (SKIMS) here.

Muslims in the valley prayed at various mosques during the Shab-e-Qadr.

Authorities have also made arrangements for the ensuing Eid festival, which is due around Sep 11.

"The curse that has plagued the valley appears to be unending. What joys can you share with your neighbours on Eid when we have seen 69 people perish in violence here?" said Abdul Salaam, 49, a pavement seller in Srinagar city.

IANS

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