50 injured amid violent shutdown in Kashmir

September 8th, 2008 - 11:13 pm ICT by IANS  

Srinagar, Sep 8 (IANS) Over 50 people, including protesters and security men, were injured in clashes across the Kashmir Valley Monday amid separatist sponsored shutdown coinciding with the meeting of all mainstream political parties called by the Election Commission for assembly polls in the troubled state.According to the police, armed guards of a senior doctor opened fire as angry protesters attacked the medic’s car in the old city area of summer capital Srinagar.

“Two protesters sustained bullet injuries and were taken to a hospital,” a police officer told IANS.

Stone pelting mobs clashed with the police and paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) at several places in the old city areas, resulting in injuries to over four dozen protesters and security men as batons and tear smoke canisters were used to disperse the protesters.

Three youth sustained rubber bullet injuries in the north Kashmir Baramulla town during stone pelting at the security men.

Separatists had called for a peaceful protest shutdown across the valley Monday against the poll panel meeting with different political parties in Jammu and Kashmir to hear their views on the possibility of holding the state assembly elections by year end.

Traffic remained off the roads, and educational institutions, markets and banks remained closed as government offices recorded thin attendance due to the absence of public transport.

Reports from district headquarters of Baramulla, Kupwara, Bandipora, Ganderbal, Badgam, Pulwama, Anantnag, Kulgam and Shopian also indicated that the shutdown had a near total response there.

Members of coordination committee of two factions of the Hurriyat Conference met Sunday at the residence of hardliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani to decide on the programme for the week.

Geelani, who chaired the meet, has issued a month-long separatist calendar. According to the schedule, the march to the city centre Lal Chowk would now be held Oct 6 after the Muslim festival of Eid-ul-Fitr.

Separatists had earlier called the Lal Chowk march on Aug 25, but it could not be held because of curfew imposed by authorities that day.

Geelani has, however, asked markets and educational institutions to remain open here on Sundays to “make up for the lost time because of the shutdowns in the valley”.

On Sunday, he said the shutdown was also being called “against the brutal killing of a youth in Nowhatta Saturday by the police and the decision of the government to detain and shift senior separatist leaders to jails outside the valley”.

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