Youth killed in Srinagar downtown clash with CRPF; toll reaches 67
3 militants killed near LoC in Tangdar
Ahmed Ali Fayyaz
SRINAGAR, Aug 21: On 44th day of the continued shutdown in Kashmir valley, a 24-year-old civilian protester died in a clash with Police and CRPF in downtown Srinagar on Sunday, raising the death toll of unabated turbulence to 67.
SSP Srinagar Amit Kumar told STATE TIMES that around the timing of the withdrawal of Police and paramilitary deployment at 7.15 p.m, a group of unruly youths resorted to intense stone pelting on Police and CRPF in Malarata-Bohrikadal area, in downtown Srinagar. Police and CRPF retaliated while firing tear gas canisters. One Irfan Ahmad alias Maajid of Fatehkadal probably got his in his chest area and later succumbed at SMHS Hospital.
Over a dozen Police and CRPF 44th battalion personnel reportedly sustained injuries in the stone pelting from the unruly group. An unruly crowd of around 400 people clashed with Police and CRPF and attacked a Police post at Bhan Mohalla in downtown Srinagar.
The body was handed over to the family amid curfew and spiralling tension and subsequently the funeral prayers were conducted at Jamia Masjid. Late on Sunday night, the body was buried at ‘Martyrs Graveyard’ at Eidgah amid anti-India, pro-Azadi and pro-Pakistan slogans. With this, death toll in the 44-day-long turbulence, triggered by Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani’s elimination in an encounter on July 8, has reached 67, including three Police personnel.
According to the official reports available, no major incident of violence took place anywhere in the Valley till 7.00 pm. Curfew remained in force in downtown Srinagar, Pampore and Anantnag town. Elsewhere, near-total shutdown was observed for the day on the call of separatist leaders Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik.
Reports from North Kashmir said that dozens of protesters sustained injuries at Behrampora Sopore, in Rafiabad area, where protesters clashed with Police and security forces. Unofficial reports put the number of the injured as 75. A Bachelor of Technology student reportedly sustained injuries during a clash between protesters and Police in Anantnag area. Reports said that clashes of minor intensity took place in Bijbehara, Achhabal and Kulgam.
At Mool Chitragam in Shopian area, Hurriyat (Geelani) leader Mohammad Yousuf Falahi led a peaceful protest demonstration of around 2500 people. It was later dispersed.
3 militants killed
Meanwhile, Defence sources said, at least three unidentified militants were killed in the wee hours on Sunday in an encounter with troops of Rashtriya Rifles 20 Bn and Rajputana Rifles 26 Bn at Nichian village of Tangdar, close to LoC. Same group of the fresh infiltrating militants had reportedly attacked a BSF post on August 19 and escaped.
[Published in today’s STATE TIMES]