Kashmir turbulence toll touches 2x11= 22
· Shutdown, curfew continue on 2nd day
· Amarnath Yatra, train services suspended
· 25,000 pilgrims stranded under sky at Baltal
· 12 CRPF companies flown in from Delhi
· Over 300 injured in more than 200 clashes
· Mob throws Police Rakhshak in Jhelum, driver killed
· Police vehicle, Dy SP’s residence, Police Post set on fire
· Jihadi anthems played on mosque loudspeakers
Ahmed Ali Fayyaz_______
SRINAGAR, July 10: With the tension mounting in entire Kashmir valley over the death of Hizbul Mujahideen operational chief Burhan Muzaffar Wani in an encounter with security forces, 11 more persons, including a Policeman, died on second consecutive day of the turbulence and more than 300 people sustained injuries in over 200 clashes across the valley.
As the Valley reeled under curfew and a complete shutdown on the call of different separatist and militant organisations on the second consecutive day on Sunday, demonstrators defied restrictions and clashed with Police and paramilitary forces at over 200 places in all the 10 districts. Authoritative sources said that the details were still pouring in from different flashpoints even as more than 300 people, including around 80 Police and CRPF personnel, were estimated to be injured on Sunday.
Official sources confirmed death of 11 more persons and said that the toll had reached 22 with the killing of one Shabir Ahmad Mir of Batmaloo in an incident of firing at Tengpora, on the national highway bypass. It was the first fatal casualty in Central Kashmir as all the 21 others have died in South Kashmir---ruling PDP’s stronghold in the Valley. No death has been reported from North Kashmir districts of Baramulla, Kupwara and Bandipore.
After the death of 11 demonstrators at different places on Saturday, three of the critically injured persons succumbed at SHMS Hospital on the following night. They were identified as Mohammad Altaf Rather of Rajpora Pulwama, Ghulam Ahmad Ganai of Batpora Anantnag and Imtiyaz Ahmad Mandoo of Nandpora Anantnag.
Sunday’s first major clash occurred at Muran Chowk of Pulwama where Irfan Ahmad Malik of Wurwan got critically injured in the Police and paramilitary firing. He succumbed to injuries at a hospital. It was followed by another major clash in the same volatile district at Lassipora where an unruly crowd resorted to intense stone pelting on the forces and torched a 407 Police vehicle. Two demonstrators, namely Gulzar Ahmad Pandit of Lassipora and Muzaffar Hussain of Keegam, died in the firing. Later in the afternoon, one Fayaz Ahmad Waza got killed during another major clash with security forces at Niklora, Pulwama. Another demonstrator Mashooq Ahmad died in yet another clash at Kund in Kulgam district where a mob had destroyed the Police Station and looted weapons on Saturday. Three Policemen missing in the melee have reached home safely.
At Sangham, near Bijbehara, on Srinagar-Jammu national highway, an unruly crowd seized a Police Rakhshak vehicle and threw it in Jhelum alongwith SPO driver Imroz Ahmad who died on spot. He is the first fatal casualty in Police.
In the evening, Police and paramilitary forces were attacked by a crowd near Tengpora on the national highway bypass. One demonstrator, Shabir Ahmad Mir, died in the firing. He was declared dead at SKIMS Medical College Bemina.
Reports of three more fatal casualties poured in from South Kashmir but officials insisted that there was no confirmation.
With the demonstrators clashing with Police and paramilitary forces at around 200 places intermittently, official residence of Sub Divisional Police Officer of Aeshmuqam was set on fire by a mob during last night. At Soibug, an unruly mob torched the Police Post. SP Budgam Fayaz Ahmad Lone said that the Police Post, located at a private building, was withdrawn. At Kreeri in North Kashmir, crowds made sustained attempts to set on fire local camp of Special Operations Group. However, Police and CRPF foiled all such attempts.
CRPF sources in New Delhi revealed to STATE TIMES that 12 companies of the paramilitary force were flown into Kashmir in the last 24 hours. In all, State has requisitioned 30 additional companies of CRPF from the Centre. In Budgam district, Army was called out as it helped Police and CRPF to maintain calm. In all other districts, Police, CRPF and ITBP dealt with the mayhem.
All the routine operations at Srinagar Airport continued but all train services remained suspended for the second day. With a couple of them being in jail, all the prominent separatist leaders were held under ‘house arrest’. Reports said that Jihadi anthems were played on PAS of the local mosques at several places in the Valley, reminiscent of what Kashmir witnessed in 1990.
At several places, residents alleged that Police and security forces damaged glasspanes of houses and windscreens of the parked vehicles while roughing up civilians. According to some complaints, forces aimed the demonstrators straight in their vital organs.
25,000 PILGRIMS STRANDED AT BALTAL
Reports from Sonmarg said that around 25,000 Amarnath pilgrims got stranded due to suspension of Yatra and turbulence in Valley at the base camp of Baltal. In chaotic conditions, they were demanding Government to make arrangements for their safe passage to Srinagar airport or Jammu so that they could return to their anxious families and homes.
THE POLICE VERSION
“The situation in Valley remained under control today though incidents of arson and mob attacks were reported. The incidents of stone pelting were reported from Newa Pulwama, Main Town Shopian, Lasipora, Rajpora, Hall Pulwama, Litter, Tahab Pulwama, Tanchibagh Pampore, Damhal, Sangam, Zainapora, Qoimoh, Yaripora, Behibagh Kulgam, Vailoo, Warpora Sopore, Tikipora Sogam, Lalpora Kupwara, Kanyal Bagh Baramulla, Armpora Sopore, Tarzoo, Batamaloo, Qamriya Ganderbal, Soibugh Budgam, Mirgund, and Sheikhpora.
“During the law and order situations at Newa, Lasipora, Litter in Pulwama three persons namely Irfan Ahmad Malik R/o Newa, Gulzar Ahmad Pandit R/o Mohanpora Shopian and Fayaz Ahmad Waza R/o Litter Pulwama got injured and later on succumbed to their injuries. One Police vehicle and some seized vehicles were set on fire at Lasipora Pulwama when the arsonists attacked the Police Post.
“Unruly mobs set on fire GRP Guard room and RPF Barrack at Bijbehara Railway Station, Police Post Damhal Khushipora. Unruly mob also set on fire a single storied structure at Soibugh Budgam from where earlier Police Post Soibugh used to function. Hooligans pushed a Police vehicle along with the driver, Afroz Ahmad into the river Jhelum at Sangam resulting in death of the driver. An unruly mob attacked Fire Services vehicle which was on way to Sangam on a call near Bijbehara. The call later proved to be a hoax. The vehicle was damaged in the said incident.
“It has been seen that in the garb of law & order situations militants are firing and lobbing grenades on Police and CRPF personnel. Militants lobbed two grenades on CRPF deployed on law & order duties in Murran Chowk resulting in injuries to some CRPF personnel. In Shopian the vehicle of SP Shopian was fired upon and a grenade was also lobbed. Militants also fired upon the Police Post Uttressu.
“A number of Police establishments and camps were also attacked during the day resulting in damage to the property and injuries to scores of Police and CRPF personnel”.
[Published in today's STATE TIMES]