Another youth killed in Kashmir, toll reaches 48 (Second Lead)

August 5th, 2010 - 9:20 pm ICT by IANS  

Srinagar, Aug 5 (IANS) A youth was killed Thursday in firing by security forces, while a 50-year man died in hospital of injuries sustained Wednesday, taking to 48 the toll in the cycle of violence sweeping the Kashmir Valley since June.
In other developments, senior separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani called on the people to shun violent protests and announced agitations till Saturday, while opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) legislator and former deputy chief minister Muzaffar Hussain Beigh submitted his resignation from the assembly, saying it was becoming “irrelevant” in the present conditions.

Life continued to be hit in Srinagar, with people living in the curfew-bound areas complaining of hardships as milk, bread, baby food and medicines have run short.

In Pulwama, security forces fired at an unruly mob after baton charges and tear smoke failed to bring the situation under control.

“Three people were wounded in this incident. They were immediately shifted to Srinagar for treatment where one of the injured identified as Shabir Ahmad Malik, 26, succumbed to injuries,” a police officer said here.

The mob had reached Pulwama town from the neighbouring Zadoora village.

In Srinagar, Gulam Muhammad Badyari, 50, who was injured in firing by security forces late Wednesday when a mob attacked a paramilitary picket in Gunpatyar area, succumbed to his injuries in hospital. His body was handed over to his relatives.

A youth, identified as Muhammad Yaqoob Bhat, was killed in similar firing by security force in Nund Reshi colony here Wednesday evening.

The deaths take the toll of civilians killed in security force’s firing since Friday to 31 while 48 have been killed in the violence that started June 11.

Reports of clashes between the security forces and the protesting mobs have also come in from Delina village on the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad road in Baramulla district.

Authorities decided to continue curfew in entire Srinagar and all other major towns of the Valley.

“Curfew continued in Srinagar city today and the people were advised to remain indoors,” said a senior police officer here.

Beigh, the PDP legislator from Baramulla, sent his resignation to the party president Mehbooba Mufti.

“Beigh has said in his resignation letter that he was resigning from the state legislative assembly as it had become irrelevant in light of the present situation in the Valley,” a party spokesman said here.

Geelani, who was released here Wednesday, has appealed to the protesters to shun violence and carry on peaceful protests.

“Violence and arson have no place in our struggle,” Geelani, a hardline separatist leader and breakaway Hurriyat group chairman, told reporters Wednesday.

However, Geelani’s group has already called for shutdowns and protests to continue till Saturday.

People have been asked to start normal activities of life Sunday.

Masrat Alam, the chief of the separatist Muslim League which is a constituent of Geelani’s Hurriyat group, has issued a resistance programme as part of the group’s “Quit Kashmir” campaign according to which shutdowns and protests would continue in the Valley till Saturday.

“The next calendar would be made public on Sunday evening,” Alam said in a statement.

In the summer capital, residents complained of shortage of essential commodities like milk, bread and medicines.

“Even when deployments of security forces are removed in the evening, there is no official announcement about lifting or relaxation in the curfew that time. This uncertain situation prevents most of the locals in our area from venturing out,” said Mehraj-ud-Din, a resident of Narwara in the old city.

Many mothers in curfew-hit areas spoke of shortage of baby food and medicines.

“Due to the shortage of baby food and medicines, I am worried about my nine-month-old baby,” said a mother in old city, requesting not to be named.

Shops, markets, educational institutions, banks, post offices and traffic remained closed in Srinagar and all other major towns of the Valley.

Due to non-availability of public transport, attendance in government offices was very thin here.

Kashmir University has postponed all its exams, scheduled to be held here before the middle of this month, to Aug 17.

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