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Thursday, July 14, 2016

Kashmir turbulence toll reaches 31 on day 3 of clashes

5 CRPF men injured in grenade attack from a mob at Nowhatta; about 1400 injured in over 500 clashes since Friday; hundreds detained; SOG camp, Police Post torched; curfew continues, shutdown extended to July 13; Yatra resumes

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz

SRINAGAR, Jul 11: Even as no fatal casualty occurred till late on Monday, death toll in the three-day-long turbulence over militant Burhan Wani’s killing in Kashmir valley has reached 31.
Official sources told STATE TIMES that with restoration of the Police telecommunication network in south Kashmir, final figures of the casualties became available on Monday. According to the official figures accessed by this newspaper, as many as 31 people have got killed on Saturday and Sunday. Sources said that 18 persons sustained fatal injuries in the Police and security forces firing on Saturday. Some of them died on the same day and others succumbed to injuries on Sunday and Monday. On Saturday, one person drowned and died in Lidder rivulet at Akad on Anantnag-Pahalgam Road.
Eleven persons sustained fatal injuries and died on Sunday. In addition to them, a mob seized and pushed a Police Rakhshak vehicle in Jhelum at Sangam. Its driver SPO Imroz Ahmad Lone of Mattan died on spot.
One young woman Yasmeena (22), who had got hit during a clash at Kund, Kulgam, succumbed to injuries on Sunday. With her death, 30 men and one woman have got killed in the last three days. While as 14 fatal casualties have been reported from Anantnag district, 9 persons have died in Kulgam, 4 in Shopian, 3 in Pulwama and one in Srinagar.
Official sources said that during a clash at Zirpara this evening, three persons sustained gunshot wounds. One of them, reportedly identified as Aamir, was said to be “extremely critical” at hospital.
On Monday, no fatal casualty was reported but a young boy Shahid Gulzar (14) of Chirpora Chitragam, Shopian, who had got hit on July 9th, succumbed to injuries at a hospital.
Kashmir Divisional Commissioner Dr Asgar Hassan Samoon told a local news gathering agency that in all 1,365 people had been injured in the three-day-long clashes. Among them, 279 had been referred to different hospitals for medical treatment. Many of them have been discharged. Around 500 clashes have been reported since Friday.
On Monday evening, someone lobbed a hand grenade from a crowd that had engaged CRPF in a clash at Nowhatta in downtown Srinagar. Official sources said that five CRPF personnel sustained injuries. Two of them were rushed to SKIMS where activists of a voluntary organisation and attendants of dozens of the injured civilians staged protest and demanded that the CRPF men should not be treated at that hospital. Later on, Police and hospital authorities managed treatment for the injured CRPF men.
Earlier in the day, a violent crowd attacked SOG camp at Litter in Pulwama district and set it on fire. Officials said that the camp was destroyed but it had been already deserted by SOG. A similar attack was reported by a crowd on a deserted Police post at Fruit Mandi Sopore. Officials said that the structure was set on fire. Around 250 clashed between demonstrators and Police/security forces were reported from different places on Monday.
A Police spokesman said in a press release that 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 Warpora, Langate, Kralgund, Hajin, Kaloosa, Prichoo, Sheeri, Khanpora, Preng, Koil, Fruit Mandi Sopore, Popchhan, Hyderpora, Baghat Barzulla, Tengpora, Rambagh, Cement Bridge Baramulla, Tahab, Yaripora, Sangam, Bijbehara, Trehgam, Kralpora, Vilgam, Shopian, Imamsahib and Gagran”, said the spokesman.
“Unruly mobs set on fire Police Post Fruit Mandi Sopore and Police Post Litter. A number of police establishments were also attacked by hooligans. The police and para military personnel deployed exhibited maximum restraint while dealing with the situation.
“At Zirpara Bijbehara militants fired upon police and CRPF personnel deployed for law & order duties which resulted in injuries to three persons who have been hospitalized”, he added.
While as curfew continued on the third day of turbulence in entire Valley, separatists’ three-day shutdown ended in the evening. However, they extended the call to July 13. Officials said that curfew too would continue indefinitely in entire Valley.
Sources said that the annual Amarnath Yatra, suspended on Saturday following outbreak of violence, was resumed in the evening on Monday as around 3500 pilgrims set off from Jammu. Last night, all the 25000-odd pilgrims stranded at base camp of Baltal were escorted to Srinagar in 1600 buses. While as 2000 of them left for respective residence by different flights, around 23,000 left smoothly for home via Srinagar-Jammu national highway amid tight security arrangements.
Mobile telephones are still suspended in south Kashmir and Internet through GPRS in entire valley. Only Internet through landline broadband is functional.
In different localities, loudspeakers of mosques were used for playing Jihadi anthems and pro-Pakistan slogans. In Srinagar, pro-Burhan graffiti were spotted on walls and shutters of shops.
People from different localities levelled serious allegations of manhandling and damaging of vehicles, ambulances and doors and windows by Police and CRPF. Minister of Education Naeem Akhtar said that the Government would investigate such complaints and take necessary action against the forces found responsible for such actions.
[Published in today's STATE TIMES]

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