Another youth killed in Kashmir, clashes continue

August 3rd, 2010 - 1:36 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh Srinagar, Aug 3 (IANS) A 23-year-old man was killed here Tuesday as crowds defying curfew orders clashed with security forces, taking the toll to 23 in the last five days of unrelenting violence in the Kashmir Valley.
Mehraj-ud-Din was killed in Barthana locality of Srinagar city, six kilometres from the city centre Lal Chowk. “The incident occurred when a violent curfew defying mob attacked the security forces,” a senior police officer said here.

In another incident, mobs attacked security forces in Sheikhpora area of central Kashmir Badgam district, 14 km from here.

“Despite repeated announcements and warnings that nobody should take to the streets since curfew continued in the area, unruly mobs came out in Sheikhpora area hurling rocks and stones at the security forces.”

“In the resultant firing, two protesters were injured and immediately moved to the hospital where doctors said they were out of danger. They suffered leg injuries,” the police officer said.

Hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani called for a peaceful rally from Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences Soura (SKIMS), where he is admitted. The rally will proceed to the martyrs’ graveyard in Old City.

Geelani Monday said he would lead the rally himself and assured authorities that the rally would be peaceful.

However, authorities continued with curfew restrictions in the Srinagar city and all other major towns of the valley.

Roads were completely deserted as shops, educational institutions, banks, post offices and other businesses remained closed throughout Srinagar city. The only visible traffic movement was that of the security force vehicles.

Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, who returned after meeting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and union Home Minister P. Chidambaram in Delhi, chaired a meeting in Srinagar late Monday.

The meeting was attended by senior officers of the army, state police, central and state intelligence agencies and paramilitary forces.

An official said the security forces have been instructed to firmly tackle violence in the Kashmir Valley, but ensure that firearms are not used unless all other preventive measures are exhausted.

The valley has been on the boil due to violent protests against civilians being killed in firing by security forces since June 11. Thirty-seven civilians have been killed in the last six weeks, with 23 of them dying since Friday.

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