Three killed as army fires on crowd in Kashmir

August 12th, 2008 - 1:22 pm ICT by IANS  

Srinagar, Aug 12 (IANS) Tension escalated in the Kashmir Valley Tuesday with three people being killed and five injured when the army fired on a crowd defying curfew restrictions in the town of Bandipora. According to police officials, the incident took place in the morning when troops fired at an unruly mob at Bandipora, 52 km from here, for curfew violation and for resorting to violence against security personnel.

People took out processions and shouted slogans in other places where too curfew was defied, including in Srinagar and other towns.

Former minister and People’s Democratic Party leader Javaid Mustafa Mir led a procession at Lasjan on the outskirts of the city.

A senior police official here said Mir’s personal security guard fired at a sub-divisional police officer (SDPO) who tried to break the procession.

“The officer has been removed to the hospital for treatment,” police here said.

Mir has been provided with armed security by the administration here like all other senior mainstream politicians and former ministers.

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.

The army’s assistance was sought to enforce the curfew at sensitive places like Baramulla and Bandipora.

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.

Five other protesters were killed in firing incidents across the valley Monday — two at Sangrama on the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad highway, 45 km from here, two at Chahal and one at Parimpora in Srinagar city.

More than 400 people, including 100 policemen, were injured in the outbreak of violence.

The body of the slain Hurriyat leader was taken to the Jamia mosque by hundreds of people and kept there overnight for the burial scheduled Tuesday afternoon.

“We have not enforced the curfew restrictions around the Jamia mosque in the old city area to allow the mourners attendance in the burial,” a senior police official said here.

Authorities here are now focusing on old city areas where the funeral procession of the slain Hurriyat leader would start at 3 p.m., officials here said.

The chiefs of the two factions of the separatist Hurriyat Conference, Syed Ali Geelani and Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, continue to remain under house arrest here.

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