Security forces kill two protesters in Kashmir, probe ordered (Lead)

November 22nd, 2008 - 6:05 pm ICT by IANS  

Srinagar, Nov 22 (IANS) Two young men were killed Saturday when police and paramilitary troops fired at people protesting against the holding of elections in Jammu and Kashmir, officials and witnesses said.The deaths sparked off wide demonstrations prompting the government to order a probe.

The killings took place in north Kashmir’s Baramulla town, which will see voting Dec 7 in the staggered state elections that end Dec 24.

Manzoor Ahmed Kumar, a Class 10 student, died after police guards of Congress candidate Mir Mushtaq fired at a stone throwing mob in Khanpora area of Baramulla, 55 km from here, the police said.

Kumar died on the spot after being hit in the chest, witnesses told IANS on phone.

Tension gripped the town as the protesters carried the body of the slain youth and marched towards the curfew-bound old town shouting anti-election and anti-India slogans.

The paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) then opened fired at the funeral procession injuring four men.

“One of the injured, Tanvir Ahmad Sheikh, died in the security force firing and three persons sustained bullet injuries in the old town area of Baramulla,” a police officer said.

After anti-election protests in Baramulla town Friday, the authorities clamped curfew to quell demonstrations.

An official spokesman said the government has ordered a magisterial probe into the firing incidents in Baramulla town.

“The probe will be conducted by the additional district magistrate of Baramulla district,” the spokesman said.

Angry protesters engaged security forces in heavy stone pelting in the town as high tension gripped the area after the killings.

Clashes between the stone throwing mobs and the security forces in the town forced the authorities to call additional troops to bring the situation under control.

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