Nine killed, 70 injured in Kashmir violence (Lead)August 12th, 2008 - 3:29 pm ICT by IANS
Srinagar, Aug 12 (IANS) Nine people were killed and more than 70 injured Tuesday as tension escalated in the Kashmir Valley and crowds poured into the streets to violate curfew restrictions and clashed with security personnel. As trouble spread like the proverbial wildfire across the valley against the continuing blockade following the Amarnath land row, incidents of firing were reported from Srinagar, from Lasjan on the outskirts of this summer capital as well as from the towns of Bandipora and Nagabal.
Three people, including a woman, were killed in Lasjan when the armed guard of senior People’s Democratic Party (PDP) leader Javaid Mustafa Mir fired in panic when the former minister was attacked by a mob. A senior police officer was also injured.
One child was killed and many protesters injured when the paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) opened fire to disperse an unruly mob at Rainawari in the old Srinagar area. The mob at Rainawari torched the house of senior regional National Conference leader Syed Akhoon.
There was trouble in the Kralpora area just outside Srinagar as well where one person was killed.
In Bandipora, 52 km from here, three people were killed when the army fired on a crowd defying curfew restrictions.
CRPF troopers also fired at a mob in the Nagabal area of north Kashmir Ganderbal district killing one person on the spot.
The issue of allotting 40 hectares of land to the Amarnath shrine board has led to a virtual polarisation of the state with the Muslim-majority Kashmir Valley against it and Hindu-dominated Jammu for it, leading to violence.
In Bemina locality of Srinagar, mobs entered the premises of the state road transport corporation and of the state motor garages and destroyed many vehicles.
Thousands of protesters also reached the Nigeen residency of the moderate Hurriyat Conference chief Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, breaking the cordon imposed by the security forces who had been keeping him under house arrest.
Mirwaiz Umer was taken out by the protesters to lead them to the Jamia mosque for the funeral procession of the slain Hurriyat leader, Sheikh Abdul Aziz.
Another group of protesters reached the Hyderpora residence of the senior Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Geelani, who had also been put under house arrest by the authorities. The mob broke the security cordon and asked Geelani to lead them to Jamia mosque.
A large procession led by the separatist Shia leader Aga Hassan Badgami also marched towards the Jamia mosque from Badgam district .
Doctors in various city hospitals said more than 70 people had been admitted with injuries.
On Monday evening, indefinite curfew had been imposed throughout the valley — in the summer capital Srinagar and in the district headquarters of Baramulla, Bandipora, Kupwara, Ganderbal, Anantnag, Pulwama, Shopian, Badgam and Kulgam.
This followed the death of the senior Hurriyat leader of the moderate Mirwaiz group, Sheikh Abdul Aziz, who was killed leading a huge march towards Muzaffarabad. Security forces had intercepted the marchers at Chahal, 25 km before the border town of Uri in Baramulla district.
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Tags: amarnath shrine, armed guard, blockade, conference leader, crpf, farooq, hurriyat conference, kashmir, kashmir valley, mobs, muslim majority, north kashmir, pdp, polarisation, reserve police, road transport, security personnel, shrine board, transport corporation, unruly mob