Five injured in fresh Srinagar violence

August 5th, 2008 - 7:54 pm ICT by ANI  

Manmohan Singh

Srinagar/Jammu, Aug.5 (ANI): At least five persons were injured in stone-pelting and fresh violence in Srinagar city on Tuesday over the Amarnath land row as tension continued to prevail in the Kashmir Valley in the wake of the death of a youth in police action.
Police had to lob teargas shells to quell stone-throwing protesters in Srinagar’’s Maisuma locality where the youth was killed yesterday after being hit by a teargas shell.
While four persons were wounded during clashes and teargassing, one person was injured when he was hit by a stone in Budhshah Chowk area where protesters and police fought a pitched battle, official sources said.
Police also teargassed protesters in Nowhatta and Chanapora localities of the city, they said. All the injured have been admitted to SMHS hospital here.
Srinagar wore a deserted look as schools, colleges, shops and business establishments remained closed in major areas in the wake of the violence. Police reports said that there was tension in Sopore, Baramulla, Anantnag and Pulwama areas in the valley.
Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) Chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik and party activists on Tuesday began an indefinite hunger strike to protest against the on-going social unrest in Jammu region.
Malik and his supporters began the hunger strike outside party headquarters office at Maisuma here.
The Bar Association of Kashmir also joined the ongoing protest against the Jammu’’s violence as the valley turned violent, particularly after the killing of a youth during the police action in Srinagar on Monday.
“We want to appeal to responsible people of the United Nations that they come here and see how much atrocities we are facing, and what is happening in Jammu. Today India’’s secular fabric has been exposed,” said Nazir Ahmed Ronga, President, Kashmir Bar Association.
Predominantly Hindu populated districts and towns in Jammu region have been protesting over the past three weeks and the Army has been called in several areas including the Srinagar - Pathankot National Highway to control the situation.
Meanwhile, the Government of Jammu and Kashmir has ordered a magisterial probe into the police firing in Samba District in which two people were killed and 18 were injured on Monday. The firing took place during a protest march on the Amarnath land transfer row.
“We have ordered a magisterial probe into the police firing in Samba on protestors in which two persons were killed on Monday,” Samba District Magistrate, Surav Bhagat said.
The probe will investigate what prompted the police led by Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Prabhat Singh to open fire without magisterial orders, he said.
The probe order comes in the wake of allegations by the SASB that the SSP took an AK rifle from his personal security officer after being hit by a stone and fired on protestors.
The Samiti had demanded dismissal of the SSP and his immediate arrest.
Inspector General of Police, R K Saxena said a CRPF jawan fired a few rounds in the air, but no one died in that firing. “The firing on protestors was resorted to by the police team led by the SSP,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, will convene an all-party meeting on the Amarnath land transfer row on Wednesday.
Dr. Singh is expected to brief political leaders about the steps being taken by the Centre to maintain communal harmony across the country. Leaders of national and regional political parties have been invited for the meeting.
On Monday, the Centre rushed Union Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta and Defence Secretary Vijay Singh to Jammu to carry out an assessment of the situation. They interacted with the State Government officials and the Army.
Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil also convened a meeting to review the situation.
Jammu continues to be the epicentre of protests. A shutdown call given by the Amarnath Sangarsh Samiti, a conglomerate of 35 political, social and religious organisations fighting for the restoration of land to the SASB, entered its 14th day on Tuesday. The ongoing violence in Jammu is fast assuming communal dimensions and most areas have been placed under curfew. (ANI)

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