Kashmir’s curfew calm hides anger, death toll mounts to 36

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As one more injured succumbed this morning and another last night, the death toll has reached to 36 in the Kashmir valley, where massive protests erupted after the death of Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) commander Burhan Wani and two other militants in an encounter with security forces on Friday evening in south Kashmir.

Official sources said an injured youth succumbed in the S K Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) this morning while another died last night, taking the toll to 36. The deceased included a Special Police Officer (SPO) and a girl. Several hundred, including about 150 security and police personnel, were also injured in the clashes out of which about 100 youths were hit by pellets.

Anantnag witnessed highest 15 death followed by Kulgam seven, Shopian five and Pulwama three. The identity of two more deceased persons was being ascertained. However, the situation was relatively by and large normal during the past 24 hours as compared to first three days after Burhan killing when majority deaths in security force firing took place.

There were fresh incidents of violence yesterday in different parts of the valley in which scores of people were injured. Five of the critically wounded were admitted to SMHS hospital yesterday. As many as 36 people, including a policeman, have lost their lives in the last four days in clashes between protestors and security forces following the death of top Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) commander and two other militants in an encounter with security forces on Friday evening in south Kashmir.

Thirty four people, including a policeman, were killed in south Kashmir, a stronghold of Peoples Democractic Party (PDP), where the party had won 11 seats out of 16 during 2014 general Assembly elections while one each person died in Srinagar and Kupwara. Official sources said 19 people, including a policeman, have died south Kashmir district of Anantnag while seven people have lost their lives in security force firing in Shopian.

Five people were killed in security force firing in Kulgam and three persons lost their lives in Pulwama. “One each person died in Srinagar and Kupwara,” they added. People killed in Anantnag, included Showkat Ahmad, Ashraf Dar, Aijaz Thokur, Safeer Bhat, Zubair Khanday, Danish Ayoub Shah, Imtiyaz Mandoo, Abdul Majeed, Jahangir Ganai, Sajad Thokar, Saqib Manzoor, Bilal Shah, Haseeb Ganai, Shahid Hamid, Mushtaq Dar, Aqib Manzoor, Habibullah Malla and Javed Ahmad. Special Police Officer (SOP) Feroz Ahmad was also killed in Anantnag, where his vehicle was pushed into river Jhelum at Sangam.

Protestors killed in Shopian, included Aamir Khan, Muzaffar Hussain Bhat, Aazad Thokar, Jahgangir Pandit, Muneer Pandit, Shahid Gulzar and Bilal Ahmed Shan. Yasmeena Rehman, Mashook Rather, Feroz Mir, Khursheed Mir and Rashid Kumar were killed in Kulgam while Altaf Rather, Irfan Malik and Fayaz Waza lost their lives in Kulgam.

Shabir Mir was killed in security firing in Srinagar while Zahoor Ahmad Sheikh died in clashes in south Kashmir district of Kupwara. Meanwhile, besides 36 dead, several hundred, including about 150 security force personnel, were also injured in the clashes out of which about 100 youths were hit by pellets.

However, the situation was relatively by and large normal during the past 24 hours as compared to first three days after Burhan killing when majority deaths in security force firing took place. There were fresh incidents of violence yesterday in different parts of the valley in which scores of people were injured. Five of the critically wounded were admitted to SMHS hospital yesterday.

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today urged people to restore peace and calm in Kashmir valley. Meanwhile, National Conference (NC) working president Omar Abdullah today appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to send eye and trauma specialists to the violence-hit valley, curfew restrictions continued for the fifth day today, in Shehar-e-Khas (SeK) and downtown besides parts of civil lines.

”Please don’t let the fact that these youngsters have been injured in protests stop us from giving the best care possible,” Mr Abdullah wrote on micro-blogging site twitter in a series of tweets. However, there was no relief for people as curfew restrictions continued to almost entire south Kashmir for the fifth day today following violent protests after the death of top Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) commander Burhan Wani and two other militants in an encounter with security forceson Friday evening.

District Magistrate Pulwama, Muneer-ul-Islam, strict curfew restriction remained imposed in municipal limits of Pulwama, Pampore, Rajpora and Tahab today. However, in the rest of the areas of the district Section 144 CrPC will remain imposed and no gathering of the people will be allowed,” the District Magistrate said.

Additional security forces and state police personnel remained deployed to strictly implement the restrictions as people in some places violated the restrictions even yesterday. Curfew restrictions had been in almost all major towns and Tehsil headquarters in entire south Kashmir .

Hundreds of security forces and state police personnel remained deployed to strictly implement the restrictions and maintain law and order. People of Pampore, about 12 km from here on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway alleged that security forces did not allow anybody to move out. Even milkmen and vegetable vendors were not allowed with the result people are facing acute shortage of essentials.

Similar views were expressed by residents of other south Kashmir areas.

 

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