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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Rs 10 Cr worth properties torched in Anantnag arson
Govt orders magisterial probe in 3 deaths; Curfew continues in Anantnag, Sopore

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz

SRINAGAR, Jun 30: With Anantnag and Sopore townships reeing under curfew and ‘undeclared curfew’ being in force in half of Srinagar city, Kashmir valley today observed yet another bandh over separatist hardliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s call of shutdown against ‘killing of Kashmiri boys by CRPF’. In overnight arson by an unruly mob of over 2,000 people, properties worth Rs 10 Cr have perished in Anantnag where Government has ordered a magisterial inquiry into the death of three youth in Police firing on Tuesday.

The mob that had gone on rampage after death of three youth in Police firing last evening at the South Kashmir district headquarters of Anantnag has destroyed public and private properties worth Rs 10 Cr in three-hour-long no-holds-barred arson. Even as official sources present at Khannabal insisted that government buildings, residential houses, shops and business establishments, Police posts, ambulances of hospitals besides 25 buses and trucks of J&K State Road Transport Corporation (SRTC) valed at around Rs 10 Crore were destroyed by the arsonists, DC Anantnag, Jaipal Singh, told Early Times that estimation by Revenue and other authorities was not possible at this stage.

While lending spot confirmation to Chief Minister Omar Abdullah’s exclusive statement to Early Times that no damage had been caused to Shivala Mandir at Janglat Mandi, DC Anantnag asserted that the arsonists had restricted their ire to just a guard room on the premises. “They torched uniforms of Police guards who had already vacated. Fortunately, there was no attempt to cause damage to the ancient Shivala Mandir”, DC Anantnag said while contesting reports carried by certain newspapers in today’s editions. He claimed no place of worship of any community had been damaged anywhere in South Kashmir and elsewhere.

A Hurriyat spokesman warned media against calling the men rampage as rioters or arsonists. He said in a statement that burning of the public and private properties by irate mobs was a “natural reaction” after “killing of youth” by government forces.

DC Anantnag said that the authorities today ensured safe passage of over a thousand of Amarnath pilgrims, who had arrived in yesterday, to the base camps and over 1200 Yatris, who reached here from Jammu today, proceeded safely to the base camps at Pahalgam and Baltal. SP Ganderbal, Imtiyaz Hussain Mir, said that there was no need of any apprehension as the people of Kashmir were, as usual, positively receptive and hospitable to the pilgrims. He said that Police and security agencies had made all fool-poof arrangements and nobody would find it easy to harm any pilgrims or tourists.

Curfew remained strictly in force in Anantnag and Sopore towns in the Valley today. Restrictions on movement of civilian traffic were also in place without formal declaration of curfew in half of Srinagar city. Reports said that similar restrictions were in force in Kaimoh area between Anantnag and Kulgam as also in Pulwama town. Shutdown was near-total in rest of the valley, though there was not perceptible tension and youngsters in large numbers were seen playing cricket and football at public parks at many places.

Reports said that thin groups of demonstrators violated curfew and other prohibitory restrictions at 20 to 25 places in Sopore, Baramulla, Sangrama, Delina, Srinagar, Pulwama and Anantnag. Police and CRPF used tearsmoke and minor baton charge to disperse these groups. Unconfirmed reports put the number of injured in today’s clashes at 20 but officials insisted that just a couple of people had sustained minor injuries in a clash at Sangam on Srinagar-Jammu national highway.

Divisional Commissioner of Kashmir, Naseem Lankar, told Early Times that government had ordered a magisterial inquiry into death of three youth in Anantnag allegedly in Police and CRPF firing yesterday. She said that Additional DC Anantnag would submit his report within 15 days.


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Mobs on burning spree after 3 youth die in Anantnag firing

Flare up spreads to South Kashmir as 2 Police posts, 7 SRTC trucks, 2 ambulances, set on fire in Anantnag; Curfew violated in Anantnag, Baramulla, Sopore

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz

SRINAGAR, Jun 29: With three more youngsters dying in CRPF firing today and death toll of the youth killed in current spate of violence since June 11th reaching to eleven, flare up has spread from the disturbed North Kashmir to the PDP stronghold of Anantnag in South Kashmir. Even as both, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah as well as union Home Minister P Chidambaram, today made separate appeals to the people of Kashmir to prevent their children from joining riotous mobs, youngsters in large numbers went on a burning spree of public properties, business establishments and residential houses. With the fresh eruption of violence and violation of prohibitory orders in Sopore, Baramulla, Srinagar and Anantnag, authorities are extending curfew to most of the major townships in Valley.

On yet another day of the separatist Hurriyat Conference-sponsored shutdown in Kashmir valley today, turbulence spread to the South Kashmir district headquarters of Anantnag where hundreds of youngsters took to the streets while shouting Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s fresh slogan of ‘Go India Go Back’ and, for the first time in current spate of violence, carrying Pakistani flags. Mobs of the youngsters clashed with Police and CRPF. Exchange of stones and brickbats engulfed almost entire district headquarters even as Police and CRPF fired teargas followed by gunshots at three places.

One youth with gunshot wounds was admitted to hospital.

Informed sources said that at least 30 rioters and Police and CRPF personnel sustained injuries in the forenoon clashes. Late in the afternoon, amid intermittent clashes, hundreds of people engaged Police and CRPF in a violent clash at Sher-e-Kashmir Colony and Anchdora village in the down outskirts. It was during this violent clash that CRPF and Police opened fire after failing to break up the crowds. Sources said that 20 more people, including at least 10 Police and CRPF personnel got injured in this clash. Over a dozen youth, having sustained gunshot and teargas shell injuries, were rushed to hospital for treatment.

Later, three of the critically wounded youth succumbed to injuries at District Hospital of Anantnag. They were identified as Imtiyaz Ahmed Itoo S/o Abdul Ahad Itoo R/o Wanihama Wadigam, Sajjad-ul-Islam Baba S/o Mohamamd Ashraf Baba R/o Anchdora and Ishtiaq Ahmed Khanday S/o Ahmedullah Khanday R/o Sher-e-Kashmir Colony. Officials said that Itoo and Baba were class 12th students while as Khanday, as per preliminary reports, worked at a local bakery.

In the evening, sources said, thousands of residents, including large number of youngsters, surfaced on streets in violation of undeclared curfew after they learned about death of three youth in today’s afternoon firing. Having damaged dozens of vehicles and government offices, including DC’s office, in heavy stone pelting in the afternoon, these violent mobs went on a burning spree. They attacked Police and CRPF positions. In two separate attacks, violent mobs torched Police posts of Janglat Mandi and General Bus Stand.

Preliminary reports said that a place of worship of the minority Hindu community was also set on fire. However, it became clear late tonight that Shivala Mandir in close vicinity of Police post at Janglat Mandi was intact. Chief Minister Omar Abdullah himself told Early Times over telephone that the temple was very much safe and intact and the rioters’ attack was restricted to the Police post. Minister of Social Welfare, Sakeena Itoo, also confirmed to this newspaper from Anantnag that Shivala Mandir was intact.

Sources in Anantnag said that the violent rioters shouting pro-Pakistan, pro-Azadi, pro-Islam and anti-India slogans completely dominated the PDP stronghold of Anantnag town and they set on fire two ambulances of Primary Health Centre Mattan, seven buses and trucks of J&K State Road Transport Corporation, parked at SRTC Yard near Geneal Bus Stand. Residential house of a local lawyer, namely Muzaffar Ahmed, also caught fire. Mobs also set ablaze Shabnam Store building of a National Conference activist on Khannabal Pahalgam Road besides Mona Lisa photo studios, which belonged to a resident lately found involved by Police in making and circulating obscene pictures and also operating a sex racket.

Sources said that at least two more adjoining houses caught fire near Shabnam Store. With the mobs on rampage, fire brigade failed to reach the spot till reports last came in. Reports said that at around midnight, Police and heavy reinforcement of paramilitary forces brought the situation under control. According to these reports, over a dozen persons allegedly involved in riots were also picked up and detained by Police. Earlier reports said that the law and order machinery failed completely and the senior officials were just using the force to protect their own offices and residences.

Here in the capital city of Srinagar, situation was by and large under control. Scores of youngsters playing football at various public parks in uptown localities was a glaring indication of the situation being “not intractable’. Shops were seen open at several places and private vehicles were also seen operating without any tension. However, youngsters violated restrictions at several places in downtown and also at Sicop crossing Chhannapora in uptown and engaged forces and Police in bitter clashes.

SSP Srinagar, Syed Ashiq Hussain Bukhari, told Early Times that groups of rioters clashed with Police and CRPF at 20 spots. He said that the forces succeeded in getting the situation under control with minimum use of force. He said that a mob of 2,000 people of Lawaypora and adjoing villages on Srinagar-Baramulla highway stormed CRPF-guarded All India Radio transmitters at Narbal. CRPF and Police fired and succeeded in repulsing the attack. He admitted that Srinagar-Baramulla, Srinagar-Kupwara and Srinagar-Gulmarg roads were occupied by rioters and there was no question of the movement of any kind of traffic, including Army and CRPF.

Reports from the usually peaceful Budgam district said that hundreds of people gathered and staged an anti-government and pro-Azadi demonstration at the district headquarters this evening. Reports said that Srinagar-Budgam road was also declared as unsafe for vehicular movement by the authorities. With the shutdown continuing on 4th consecutive day, train service has already been demobilized.

Informed sources in North Kashmir said that thousands of residents in the twin towns of Sopore and Baramulla violated curfew and continued anti-government, anti-India and pro-Azadi and pro-Islam demonstrations. Intermittent clashes between rioters and Police/ CRPF were reported from 15 places.

Officials said that the senior authorities were likely to requisition Army for a flag march in both Baramulla and Sopore. They said that in all, more than 100 civilians and Police/ CRPF personnel sustained in today’s clashes in Srinagar, Anantnag, Sopore and Baramulla. With the death of three more youth in a shootout at Anantnag today, death toll since June 11th has reached eleven in the current spate of violence and demonstrations.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, as well as Home Minister P Chidambaram made separate appeals to people of Kashmir to restrict their children from joining demonstrations. In a statement, Chidambaram said that CRPF was not involved in any violation of SOP even as 53 of its personnel had sustained injuries in attacks and clashes in the last few days.

Shivala Mandir intact: CM

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz

SRINAGAR, Jun 29: Amid rumours of the rioters having torched a place of worship of the minority Hindu community, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah asserted that Shivalik Mandir in Anantnag was neither attacked by any mob nor damaged.

“I have personally checked from all agencies and found that it was one among a many rumours of the day. Shivalik Mandir is very much intact. There was a mob that attacked and caused damage to security forces posts in close vicinity of the temple. There was no attempt of causing damage to the temple. It is very much intact and safe”, Chief Minister told Early Times over telephone late tonight.

Chief Minister said that the mobs had unfortunately torched several SRTC vehicles, two ambulances of a hospital and Police posts besides damaging several vehicles in stone pelting. He said that the situation was being taken under control. He said that on his instructions a team of Ministers, comprising Minister of Social Welfare Sakeena Itoo, Minister of Education Pirzada Mohammad Sayeed and Chief Minister’s Advisor, Mubarak Gul, had rushed to Anantnag late this evening and they were camping there in an attempt to build communication links with the local population and thus restore normalcy.

Speaking to Early Times from Anantnag later, Minister of Social Welfare Sakeena Itoo said that the team of Ministers held a meeting with DC Anantnag, DIG South Kashmir, SSP Anantnag and several other district officers. She said that the team was in the process of establishing contact with the local population in an attempt to defuse the crisis. She said that dead bodies of all three youth, earlier today killed in CRPF firing, were buried this evening.

As regards the rumour of a temple having burned in the riots, Sakeena asserted that it was a baseless rumour. She too claimed that Shivala Mandir was intact and safe. She said that the team was likely to be joined by Lok Sabha Member of South Kashmir and senior NC leader, Dr Mehboob Baig, who failed to reach Nehru Helipad tonight. She admitted that no vehicular movement was possible on Srinagar-Jammu highway and the Ministers’ team reached Anantnag by a state helicopter.

Earlier today, owing to similar disruption on entire highway from Srinagar to Baramulla, another Ministerial team, comprising Minister of Irrigation and PHE, Taj Mohiuddin, and Minister of Rural Development, Ali Mohammad Sagar, traveled to the turbulent North Kashmir district headquarters of Baramulla in a state helicopter. They held meetings with DC Baramulla and other senior Police officials and District officers.

On his return, Taj Mohiuddin told Early Times that the meeting with officials and some senior and influential citizens was very much fruitful.


2 killed, 100 injured in Srinagar, Sopore clashes

Hurriyat extends shutdown, ‘Go India Go Back’ slogan shouted from Srinagar mosques

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz

SRINAGAR, Jun 28: With the situation in Valley deteriorating fast and several politicians demanding Chief Minister Omar Abdullah’s resignation after a Cabinet Minister’s admission of command and control failure, two more youngsters today died in CRPF firing in Sopore area and over a hundred others sustained injuries in day-long clashes between demonstrators and paramilitary forces. Hurriyat arranged ‘Go India Go Back’ slogans at several mosques in Srinagar besides some Sopore-bound rallies amid yet another shutdown in Kashmir valley.

Detained separatist hardliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s “Sopore Chalo” call evoked substantial response in the so-called moderate separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq’s stronghold in downtown Srinagar. Even as Mirwaiz and most of his Hurriyat colleagues remained under “house arrest”, thousands of people gathered at the old Mirwaiz Manzil amid shutdown in Valley. Geelani had called for today’s shutdown and asked people to march to Sopore for showing solidarity with the families whose children had died in CRPF firing in the last few days.

Mirwaiz had made an identical call on Friday last. Though there was shutdown all over the Valley on that day, no such congregation was witnessed. Geelani’s new slogan “Go India Go Back” reverberated through public address system of scores of mosques in the Mirwaiz bastion as also in the rally of the traditional supporters of the young cleric-politician. Authorities allowed the rally to proceed to Sopore via Nallah Maar Road but intercepted it at Hokarsar Wetland Reserve on Srinagar-Sopore highway. Suddenly a fierce clash took place between a heavy bandobust of Police-CRPF and the men in the rally.

While Police and CRPF used teargas, batons and stones to disperse the crowds, demonstrators put up strong resistance. They even overpowered CRPF soldiers and trampled them with severe beating with batons and brickbats. Ding dong clashes continued for over three hours. A crowd of nearly 2,000 people attacked Parimpora Police Station. However, after great deal of trouble, Police and CRPF succeeded in dispersing the demonstrations. This kind of clash was witnessed by mediapersons for the first time in last several years. Over 50 Police and CRPF personnel and demonstrators are estimated to have sustained injuries in today’s clashes in downtown Srinagar and on the highway from Parimpora to Hokersar.
Those injured in these intermittent clashes included half-a-dozen mediapersons, mostly camera crews of television news channels and photographers of Srinagar-based newspapers. Some of them said that they were caught between the warring demonstrators and CRPF but others alleged that Police and CRPF officials abused them loudly and roughed them up on two occasions.

Senior Police officials tonight maintained that the situation was tense but under control. They insisted that the shutdown had little impact and a large number of shops were open in defiance of the call for shutdown in Srinagar and several other townships. According to them, there was no disturbance in the capital city other than “a few clashes” between demonstrators and Police-CRPF combine on Nallah Maar and a couple of places in uptown.

Sources in north Kashmir said that hundreds of people converged on streets in violation of curfew restrictions in Sopore to participate in the funeral of a youth who had died during the course of a clash between residents and paramilitary forces last evening. In the background of the youth’s funeral, large number of residents raised pro-Azadi, pro-Islam and anti-India slogans and later clashed with Police and CRPF at several places.

In one of these bitter clashes, CRPF opened fire. An 18-year-old, Tajamul Bashir Bhat S/o Bashir Ahmed Bhat got killed and few others sustained injuries. Later in the day, 9-year-old boy, Tariq Ahmed Rather S/o Ghulam Hassan Rather of Delina, got killed and three others sustained gunshot wounds when Police and CRPF opened fire during a fierce clash between participants of yet another Sopore-bound rally and armed forces at Delina on Baramulla-Sopore highway.

Sources said that in response to Geelani’s call, people of Uri-Baramulla belt formed a rally and began marching towards Sopore. It was intercepted by Police and CRPF at Delina and dispersed with the use of teargas, baton charge and firing.

Reports from north Kashmir added that participants of yet another Sopore-bound rally attacked Police Station of Kralgund in Handwara Police district. Handwara and Kupwara observed total shutdown. Sources said that in a fierce clash between Police and demonstrators at Police Station Kralgund, about 20 Police personnel and equal number of civilians sustained injuries. The injured included SP of Handwara, one Dy SP, SHO Kralgund and several personnel of other ranks.

Senior Police officials put the number of the injured in today’s clashes at around 50. According to them, 30 to 35 Police and CRPF personnel sustained injuries in these clashes. They confirmed that one SSP, one SP, one Dy SP,, one Inspector and two ASIs were among the injured. They said that two civilians had got killed and about 20 sustained injuries. However, independent reports insisted that more than 100 people, including 30 Police and CRPF men had sustained injuries.

In view of fresh flare up, authorities have extended curfew to Baramulla township. They said that curfew would continue without relaxation in the twin towns of Sopore and Baramulla.

Meanwhile, Hurriyat (Geelani) has modified its shutdown calendar in view of today’s casualties and clashes. It has now called a total shutdown in Valley on June 29th and 30th. It has also asked the Kashmiri women to march to Pathar Masjid (Srinagar) on July 1st. It has now called for “Iddgah Chalo” on July 2nd. Mirwaiz-led Hurriyat has called for shutdown till July 3rd and asked people to converge on streets.

With two more youngsters getting killed today, as many as 8 youth have died in CRPF firing in Srinagar and Sopore since June 11th.


Sunday, June 27, 2010

Minister asks MHA to rein in ‘unbridled’ CRPF

On CM’s advice, Sagar talks to Centre through media, Cong embarrassed

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz

SRINAGAR, Jun 27: In a significant development tonight, senior National Conference (NC) leader and Minister of Rural Development, Ali Mohammad Sagar, called CRPF as an “unbridled and indisciplined force” and urged Union Minister of Home Affairs, P Chidambaram, to rein in this paramilitary organization. Well placed authoritative sources said that Sagar chose to communicate to New Delhi through media, rather than taking the coalition partner Congress into confidence, on Chief Minister Omar Abdullah’s direction. Late tonight CM himself spoke to Chidambaram to personally convey his government’s concern over CRPF functioning in the Valley.

Addressing an urgently organized news conference at his official residence late this evening, Sagar expressed his government’s concern over the fact that half-a-dozen civilian demonstrators had been killed by CRPF in different incidents of firing in the last two weeks. He said that CRPF had become an unbridled and indisciplined force and needed to be reined in by the union Ministry of Home Affairs. He urged Home Minister, P Chidambaram, to immediately take stock of the CRPF functioning in a visit to Kashmir and use his good offices to prevent the paramilitary organization from further indulgence in human rights abuse.

Sagar parried queries and maintained that the NC would think about it later when mediapersons repeatedly wanted to know whether Omar Abdullah would pull out of the coalition if the “violation of SOP” by CRPF continued unabated in Kashmir. He said that abuse of human rights by central forces was intolerable for the state government. He made it clear that he had called today’s press conference for only communicating to the Centre NC-led coalition government’s concern over CRPF functioning through media.

Even as a formal reaction from Congress was not available immediately, individual Ministers of the party insisted that they had no knowledge of “today’s significant policy decision”. They said that the party would discuss the situation arising out of a Minister’s public rebuke of CRPF, in advance of completion of magisterial and judicial inquiries, with its high command in New Delhi as well as Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah, here tomorrow. Sources said that two of the Congress Ministers, both from Jammu division, were conveying their “displeasure” over Mr Sagar’s public censurement of CRPF. Their argument was that the matter could have been resolved in a discussion between the coalition partners followed by a formal request to the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre. “It’s a highly embarrassing situation for all of Congress Ministers”, said a senior Minister of the party over telephone.
Meanwhile, according to an official press release released late tonight, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah spoke to the Union Home Minister, P. Chidambaram and expressed his strong concern about the recent death of civilians. “The Home Minister & the Chief Minister both agreed to the need to bring an immediate end to this cycle of violence”, it said.

“The Home Minister assured the Chief Minister that together the Union government and the state government will deal with the situation. The Home Minister said the Union government is committed to support the state government in its endeavor to bring peace and order in the state and shall do everything possible in this regard”, government’s press release said.

Another youth killed in CRPF firing in Sopore

Demonstrators violate curfew, attack CRPF amid anti-India slogans on PAS

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz

SRINAGAR, Jun 27: Apple town Sopore in north Kashmir has turned tense as yet another youth got killed when demonstrators violated curfew, shouted anti-India and pro-Islam slogans on public address system of different mosques and attacked Police and CRPF positions. With the death of 25-year-old, Bilal Ahmed Wani of Kralteng (Sopore), in CRPF firing this evening, as many as six youth have died in the last 10 days in paramilitary forces’ firing on demonstrators in Kashmir valley.

Reeling under second consecutive day of curfew, Sopore remained a flashpoint of trouble today inspite of peace all over the Valley. Curfew had been imposed on Sopore by District Magistrate of Baramulla immediately after two militants died in an overnight gunfight with security forces and two civilian demonstrators died during a clash with CRPF on 25th evening.

Informed sources told Early Times that people in different localities of Sopore violated curfew, engaged Police and CRPF in intermittent clashes, attacked Police and CRPF positions and shouted pro-Azadi, pro-Islam and anti-India slogans through PAS of local mosques. Police and CRPF used tearsmoke and baton charge to disperse the crowds of scores of demonstrators.

Sources said that at 1845 hours this evening, a mob of nearly 200 people shouted anti-India slogans and attacked a Police-CRPF position at Muslim Pir, Kralteng. In retaliation, CRPF and Police used teargas canisters. When the stand-off intensified, CRPF fired rubber bullets. A 25-year-old youth, Bilal Ahmed Wani S/o Mohammad Maqbool Wani R/o Kralteng, got hit in his neck. He was evacuated and rushed to SMHS Hospital in Srinagar where doctors declared him as ‘brought dead’.

Medical Superintendent of SMHS Hospital, Dr Waseem Qureshi, told Early Times that Wani was found dead on his arrival. He said that doctors who examined the dead body observed a gunshot wound in the neck. Dead body was thereafter carried to Police Hospital at Police Control Room premises. Sources said that after post mortem at Police Hospital, dead body would be sent to Sopore for funeral rites.

Sopore erupted on a day when three-time MLA-turned separatist leader, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, had asked the Kashmiris to write “Go India Go Back” slogan on roads and walls to press their “popular demand” of withdrawal of the Indian armed forces from Jammu & Kashmir. Reports said that there was little impact of Geelani’s call. At a couple of places in the capital city, less than half-a-dozen burqa-clad Dukhtaraan-e-Millat activists were seen painting such anti-India slogans. Detained Hurriyat (G) Chairman, Geelani has called for “Sopore Chalo” on Monday, asking people to stage a march to the apple town from every nook and corner of Kashmir valley.

With today’s fatal casualty in Sopore, as many as six young civilians have died in different incidents of firing by CRPF in the Valley in the last 10 days. Eighteen-year-old student, Tufail Ahmed Matoo of Sayeeda Kadal (Srinagar) had got killed in an incident of teargas shelling allegedly by Police and CRPF at Rajouri Kadal on June 11th. Another teenager, Rafeeq Ahmed Bangroo of Dana Mazar (Srinagar), who had sustained critical injuries in a violent clash of demonstrators (protesting Matoo’s killing) with CRPF died at SKIMS Soura on June 18th. Immediately after Matoo’s burial, residents of the downtown locality clashed with CRPF and torched a paramilitary bunker. CRPF opened fire in which another youth, namely Javed Ahmed Malla, got killed.

On June 25th, residents of Krankshival Colony of Sopore clashed with CRPF over the death of two militants in a 20-hour-long gunbattle near Chhan Khan bridge in the apple town. When a mob attacked a CRPF unit and torched the escort Gypsy of a Commanding Officer, CRPF opened fire. Two local youth, namely Shakeel Ahmed Ganai of Lalad and Firdaus Ahmed Khan of Ningli, got killed and four others sustained injuries in the shootout.

While the residents were preparing for the two youth’s Rasm-e-Chaharum (4th day ceremony), scheduled to be held on the day of Geelani’s “Sopore Chalo” call on Monday, yet another youth, Bilal Ahmed Wani, died in CRPF firing.

Officials in north Kashmir said that with additional deployment of CRPF, Police and paramilitary enforced curfew strictly late this evening. Residents said that CRPF went berserk, roughed up civilians and damaged several vehicles, including that of KNS correspondent, while enforcing curfew in the aftermath of today’s shootout. They maintained that curfew would continue on the third consecutive day tomorrow without any relaxation in entire Sopore township.