After 46 deaths, uneasy calm across Curfewed Kashmir valley

Srinagar, July 19: Jammu and Kashmir police today claimed that the situation in the Kashmir valley remained under control baring few incidents of stray and intermittent stone pelting.

“Barring a few incidents of stone pelting, curfew-bound Kashmir remained peaceful today for the first time in 11 days after unrest broke out over killing of Hizb commander that claimed 46 lives,” police spokesperson said, adding the incidents of stray and intermittent stone pelting were reported from Tahab in Pulwama, Sangam Chowk in Bijbehara, Fatehpora and Ahan in Ganderbal and Bagyas & Reck Chowk in Srinagar.

Meanwhile, the Army “deeply regretted” the Qazigund firing incident and ordered a probe. The death toll rose to 42 after a woman injured in the retaliatory firing by Army in Qazigund in Anantnag district yesterday succumbed to injuries today taking the death toll in this incident to three.

“There were few minor incidents of stone pelting at four places in Pulwama, Anantnag and Ganderbal districts. Otherwise, the day passed off peacefully in rest of the Valley,” a police officer said, adding curfew continued to be in force in all the 10 districts of the Valley.

Police and paramilitary personnel have been deployed in strength across the Valley for strict implementation of the prohibitory orders, as normal life remained paralysed for the 11th day today due to separatist sponsored strike, which has now been extended till July 22. Mobile telephony and mobile internet services also remained shut while newspapers failed to hit stands for the fourth day.

The clashes in the Valley erupted after the killing of young Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in an encounter with security forces on July 8. Newspaper publishers and editors today decided not to come out with their publications for the fifth day tomorrow, alleging that the PDP-BJP government was not speaking in one voice and not owning up the “press emergency” imposed by it.

Police said one person was injured in one incident at Tahab in Pulwama today after he was hit by a pellet in the eye. “He was discharged from Pulwama district hospital after treatment.” Neelofar, who was injured at Qazigund last evening when army opened fire to disperse a stone-pelting mob, has succumbed to injuries, a police officer said. Two other persons, including a woman, were killed and seven others injured in the incident that took place yesterday.

A police spokesman, giving details of the incident, said an army mobile domination patrol party while moving towards Devsar tried to clear a road blockade erected by miscreants at Churaht Qazigund. “The security force party while removing the obstructions came under heavy stone pelting by the miscreants from two sides. The Army party warned the mob to maintain distance but it did not relent.

“Some miscreants tried to snatch weapons from them and tried to set ablaze the vehicles. Despite repeated warnings the mob did not disperse and army fired in self defence in an effort to move out from the spot,” the spokesman said, adding six persons were injured in the incident out of which two had succumbed last night.

Referring to the incident, a Defence spokesman said, “The Army deeply regrets the unfortunate loss of life in the incident at Churat, Qazigund where the troops were forced to open fire yesterday when a large mob turned violent, resorting to heavy stone pelting and attempted to snatch weapons from the soldiers.” “An inquiry has been ordered into the incident.


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