40 wounded in day-long Kashmir violenceFebruary 2nd, 2010 - 10:16 pm ICT by IANS
Srinagar, Feb 2 (IANS) At least 40 people, among them 28 policemen, were injured as fierce clashes between security forces and stone-pelting protesters enraged over the death of a young man hit by a tear smoke shell Sunday, continued for the second day Tuesday.
Police and paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) troopers had a tough time in controlling the situation as irate youths swarmed the streets and indulged in heavy stone pelting.
Security forces fired tear gas shells and baton charged the protesters who, however, continued to re-group in the lanes and by-lanes of the old city and uptown areas.
The trouble erupted Tuesday morning coinciding with the general strike call given by the two factions of the separatist Hurriyat Conference against the killing of 13-year-old Wamik Farooq Wani, who was hit on the head by a tear smoke shell.
The strike was complete in Srinagar and other towns.
Stone pelting youth took to the streets in old city areas of Rajouri Kadal, Bohri Kadal, Nowhatta, Gojiwara, Hawal, Khanyar, Safakadal, Qamarwari and uptown areas of Batmallo, Maisuma, Barzalla, Rambagh. They also shouted anti-India slogans.
Security forces fired warning shots in air in Safakadal and Gojiwara areas to disperse the stone pelters who re-grouped only to launch fresh attacks on the paramilitary bunkers in the areas.
Till late in the evening, police and CRPF troopers were engaged in dispersing the stone pelters in various areas of the capital.
“We exercised great restraint today and used minimum force to restore peace and order,” a police spokesman here said.
A senior police officer said 40 persons, including 26 policemen and two CRPF troopers, were wounded in the daylong clashes.
The violence which was till Monday confined to Srinagar spread to other towns also, leading to police use tear smoke and baton charges in Pulwama, Anantnag in south and in Sopore and Baramulla towns in north Kashmir.
A shopping complex was gutted in a fire incident in south Kashmir Anantnag town during the protests.
“The situation was by and large peaceful. There were pelting incidents in the city and some other towns,” a senior police officer said.
He said adequate security arrangements have been made to maintain law and order in Srinagar and other towns.
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Tags: anantnag, baton charges, bohri, city areas, crpf, fierce clashes, fresh attacks, gas shells, heavy stone, hurriyat conference, kashmir violence, north kashmir, peace and order, police spokesman, reserve police, shopping complex, tuesday morning, uptown areas, wani, warning shots