Four killed as violence erupts in north Kashmir

After a week-long lull, violence erupted in north Kashmir today leaving four persons dead and 12 others injured when security forces allegedly opened fire on a stone-pelting mob.

Last Updated: Sep 07, 2010, 00:15 AM IST

Srinagar: After a week-long lull, violence
erupted in north Kashmir today leaving four persons dead and
12 others injured when security forces allegedly opened fire
on a stone-pelting mob that had attacked Inspector General of
Police S M Sahai`s convoy in Pattan area.

Police initially used batons to chase away a group of
youths who had blocked the Srinagar-Baramulla National Highway
at Palhalan in Pattan area, 30 kms from here, police said.

The protesters started pelting stones, leading to clashes
between the two sides. Sahai, who took over as IG last week,
was targeted by stone-pelters, prompting the security forces
to open fire, they said. At least 16 persons were injured in
the firing.

One of the injured, Feroze Ahmad Malik, died while being
shifted to a hospital, Mohammad Ramzan Mir, Showkat Ahmed Mir,
and Noor-ud-Din Tantray succumbed to injuries in different
hospitals, they said. The condition of at least two of the
injured is stated to be very critical.

A police spokesman said an inquiry has been initiated
into the incident to fix responsibility.

"Senior police officers have taken a serious view of the
firing incident and an inquiry has been initiated. Ammunition
of the policemen is being checked to fix responsibility," the
spokesman said, adding those found involved shall face action
as per the law.

In other parts of the Valley, people thronged markets for
the second day today to prepare for Eid-ul-Fitr to be
celebrated later this week. The hardline Hurriyat faction led
by Syed Ali Shah Geelani had called for a break in the ongoing
agitation in view of the festivities.

While private and a few public transport vehicles plied
since this morning, Srinagar city and other major towns of the
Valley were agog with activity in the afternoon.

Schools and other educational institutions remained
closed, while work in government and semi-government offices,
banks, courts and other establishments was partially affected.

Traffic jams were witnessed at many intersections in the
city as shoppers flocked to shops and bakeries.

With the fresh deaths, the toll in the ongoing turmoil,
which began with killing of a 17-year-old youth during
protests in Rajouri Kadal area of the city on June 11, in
Kashmir valley has now gone up to 69.

PTI