Curfew remains in force, toll mounts to 42

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One person was today killed in clashes between security personnel and protesters who attacked a police post in Kupwara as protests were held in some parts of the curfew-bound Valley where 42 persons have died and over 3,100 left injured in the violence since last week.

A mob attacked a police post at Hatmulla in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district this afternoon following which the security personnel retaliated. One person was killed and two injured in the incident, a police official said. With this the death toll in the violence that followed the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani has mounted to 42 while 3,140 persons including 1,500 security personnel have been injured.

Minor protests were reported from some parts of the Valley but the miscreants were chased away by security personnel who resorted to baton charge, the official said. “The situation elsewhere in Kashmir Valley today remained relatively peaceful,” he said.

Authorities prevented newspapers from hitting the stands today as some media houses claimed that police raided their printing presses last night and seized the material while cable TV services were also affected in most parts of the Valley. The police official said curfew remained in force in all 10 districts of the Valley as a precautionary measure to maintain law and order.

He said the decision to continue the curfew was taken in view of large number of stone-pelting incidents across the Valley yesterday. Two persons were killed and 23 others, including 9 securitymen, injured in the violence yesterday as mobs indulged in stone-pelting after defying curfew in many parts, while a police station was attacked with a grenade and firing by suspected militants from amidst the crowd of protesters.

Police and paramilitary personnel have been deployed in strength across the Valley for strict implementation of the prohibitory orders, the official said. Mobile telephone services in the Valley also remained suspended to prevent any rumour-mongering. “Only postpaid connections of BSNL are working,” the official said.

All telephone services including landlines were not functioning in Kupwara district today. Mobile Internet services continued to remain suspended for the seventh day today while trains are also off the tracks in the Valley. Violent protests rocked Kashmir last weekend following killing of Burhan Wani and two of his associated in an encounter with security forces on July 8 in Kokernag area of Anantnag district.

Normal life has remained paralysed since Saturday in Kashmir on account of separatist sponsored-strike and curfew-like restrictions imposed by authorities. The separatists groups — both factions of Hurriyat Conference and JKLF — have been issuing strike calls, a practice reminiscent of 2010 summer agitation.

The separatists groups yesterday extended the strike call till Monday evening.

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