Kashmir erupts again; 7 killed in a day


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IANS
Bellevision Media Network

Srinagar, 02 August 2010: Seven people, including two 17-year-olds, were killed on Sunday in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district as escalating violence engulfed the Kashmir Valley and the death toll since Friday reached 13. The law and order situation has deteriorated with violent protests rocking most cities and towns and mobs attacking police stations, police camps, vehicles on the highways and also beating up trapped security men.

 

Four people were killed and 19 others injured in an explosion inside the Khrew police post in the district after a rampaging mob entered it Sunday evening and set it afire, a police officer said here. Police said the explosion could have occurred because of the gas cylinders inside the police post which blew up during the fire.

 

 

Earlier, a 17-year-old girl, Afroza Bano, was killed and three others critically injured when policemen inside the Khrew police post opened fire in self-defence after being attacked by the mob. The policemen later took shelter inside an army camp in Khrew village, sources said. The army has pressed ambulances into service to carry the injured protesters to hospitals in Srinagar.

 

Two people, identified as Nayeem Ahmad Shah, 26, and Rayees Ahmad Wani, 17, died and five others were critically wounded when a huge mob attacked the Pampore police station in the same district. As news of the deaths spread, protesters attacked and burnt the office-cum-residence of a revenue official in the town, looted arms from the guardroom of a local court, assaulted a police official and burnt a police vehicle, a senior police official said here.

 

Five other protesters critically injured in Pampore firing are being treated in the Srinagar hospitals. The officer said hundreds of violent protesters attacked the Pampore police station, 14 km from here, in Pulwama district, with rocks and stones. "After tear smoke shells and baton charges failed to bring the situation under control, security forces opened fire in which seven people were injured," the officer said. They were taken to Srinagar for treatment where Shah and Wani succumbed to their injuries.

 

"The situation is extremely tense in Pampore town," said a police officer. Additional security forces have been rushed to the spot, where thousands gathered to offer funeral prayers for the victims. Mobs also torched a police post in south Kashmir’s Anantnag town while mobs also gathered outside the Pulwama police station, hurled rocks and stones at the security men inside and attempted to torch it. A fire tender was also burnt by unruly mobs in Lasjan area on the outskirts of Srinagar this evening.

 

Reports of widespread violence and clashes between unruly mobs and the security forces have also come in from Zeewan, Nishat, Shah Mohalla Parimpora, Nowhatta, Rainawari and Khanyar in Srinagar city where mobs defied curfew and attacked security forces. Violence has also been reported from Baramulla, Sopore, Naidkhai and Ganderbal towns in the north and Galandar, Fraistabal, Barsoo, Kadlabal, Khannabal, Pinglana, Sirigufwara and Anantnag town in the south Kashmir area.

 

A senior police officer said mobs have blocked the Jammu-Srinagar national highway at Galandar, Frastabal, Barsoo, Kadlabal and Pampore by felling trees and erecting obstructions, On Friday, two people each were killed in north Kashmir’s Sopore and Pattan towns when security forces opened fire on violent protesters. Two more protesters were shot dead Saturday in north Kashmir’s Baramulla and Bandipora districts.

 

Chief Minister Omar Abdullah appealed for calm and asked political parties and leaders to cooperate with the Government to bring back peace in the state. He vowed to deal sternly with law breakers and the perpetrators of violence, asserting that he will not allow them "to win".

 

"There are people in the Valley who want the cycle of deaths and killings to continue. I dont’ want them to win. I want your cooperation to defeat these elements who are using the blood of the youth for their political interests," said Omar on state-run television. In New Delhi, the Cabinet Committee on Security(CCS) met for the second time under a month to review the situation in the Valley.

 

 

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