Two killed, 55 injured in Kashmir violence(Lead)

June 25th, 2008 - 11:33 pm ICT by IANS  

Srinagar, June 25 (IANS) Two people, including a Class 12 student, were killed and 55 injured Wednesday in the massive protests and violence across Kashmir over the allotment of 40 hectares of forest land to Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB), the police said. The police opened fire Wednesday afternoon to disperse violent protesters who resorted to throwing stones at security forces at Mazhama, 29 km from here, on the Srinagar-Gulmarg road.

“One bullet hit a Class 12 student identified as Farooq Ahmed Rather. He was critically wounded and rushed to hospital where he succumbed to his injuries,” a police official said.

When the body of Rather reached Mazhama, angry villagers came out on the streets and shouted anti-government slogans.

The villagers kept the student’s body on the road, leading to the north Kashmir mountain resort of Gulmarg.

More security personnel have been rushed to the village where tension is high.

In the Fateh Kadal locality of the old city, the police Wednesday evening opened fire to disperse a stone pelting mob, critically injuring one person.

“Sameer Ahmad was taken to hospital where he died,” a police official said.

His body was taken in a procession by angry residents, who shouted slogans against the government and the Shrine Board.

Tension gripped the city where security forces battled stone throwing protesters till late Wednesday evening.

A strike Wednesday crippled life across the Kashmir Valley.

The police officials here said 55 people, including four policemen and two Central Reserve Police Force troopers, were injured in the daylong clashes in capital Srinagar and other towns.

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad announced he would hold an all-party meeting to defuse the tension.

Kashmir has been in the throes of continuous protests and violence since Monday against the allotment of 40 hectares of forest land to Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB).

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