M A I N   N E W S

‘Muzaffarabad chalo’ march fizzles out
Hurriyat leader among 4 killed in firing
Ehsan Fazili
Tribune News Service

A file photo of senior Hurriyat leader Sheikh Abdul Aziz, who was killed in firing during a protest march to Muzaffarabad.
A file photo of senior Hurriyat leader Sheikh Abdul Aziz, who was killed in firing during a protest march to Muzaffarabad.

Srinagar, August 11
At least four persons, including Hurriyat Conference leader Sheikh Abdul Aziz, were killed and about 100 policemen were injured in firing as thousands of people took out the “Muzaffarabad chalo march” towards the LoC in protest against the “economic blockade” of Kashmir today.

An official spokesman said curfew had been imposed in the city and in other major towns of the valley as a precautionary measure, while all educational institutions would be closed till August 14.

Reports reaching here said seven persons, including Sheikh Abdul Aziz, were killed and over 150 protesters injured in the day-long clashes, particularly in north Kashmir.

Those who were killed were identified as Nazir Ahmad, Abdul Hameed Bhat, Abdul Hameed Akhoon and Ishfaq Ahmad.

Protesters turn violent during a march to Muzaffarabad, capital of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, at Qamarwari in Srinagar on Monday
Protesters turn violent during a march to Muzaffarabad, capital of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, at Qamarwari in Srinagar on Monday; and (below) policemen canecharge protesting Kashmiri protesters. — Tribune photos by Mohd Amin War
policemen canecharge protesting Kashmiri protesters.

Sheikh Abdul and Manzoor Ahmad were killed at Chala (Rampore near Uri), one Nazir Lone was killed at Delina, while one Ishfaq Khan was killed at Qamarwari.

About 100 policemen and CRPF personnel were also injured, four of them seriously. Two of the injured were later airlifted to Srinagar for treatment. On the “Muzaffarabad chalo” call given by the Hurriyat Conference and some other organisations, processions were taken out from various areas across the city.

A police official said the police exercised utmost restraint while dealing with the protesters. However, at certain places, the protesters turned violent and damaged property.

Agitated protesters also attacked the Sheeri police station and Qamarwari police station, burnt the house of a police officer at Baramulla, attacked a CRPF post at Baramulla bridge, and burnt at least two police vehicles at Delina.

However, at Chala, near Boniyar, the police did not allow the protesters to march ahead. Earlier, in the morning, the police had advised people not to proceed beyond Baramulla and had sought their cooperation to maintain peace and order. However, the mob did not relent and the police was forced to open fire to disperse the protesters.




But Hurriyat won’t give up

Srinagar: Both Hurriyat Conference (HC) factions today appealed to the people to continue the ''Muzaffarabad march'' on Tuesday.

A spokesman for the breakaway Hurriyat Conference told UNI that chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani and chairman of the moderate Hurriyat Conference Mirwaiz Moulvi Omar Farooq discussed the overall situation in the Kashmir valley on the telephone and urged the people to continue the march tomorrow.

Geelani and Omar, who are under house arrest, had earlier given the march call for today in protest against the economic blockade and attack on Muslims and Kashmiri drivers in Jammu.

The spokesman said Geelani and Omar strongly condemned firing and use of tear gas by the security forces and the police on peaceful demonstrators in different parts of the valley. — UNI




Amarnath Land Row
All-party meet inconclusive
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 11
After deliberating for more than ninety minutes and pondering over various options to resolve the ongoing crisis in Jammu and Kashmir, the all-party meet headed by Union home minister Shivraj Patil remained inconclusive even as a sort of broad “roadmap” has been worked out.

Leaders of all the parties meet again tomorrow morning and suggest the possible options, which will be then tabled before the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday.

Members of the all-party delegation, which returned from a visit of Jammu and Srinagar yesterday, met at the North Block today. Patil later told mediapersons that various issues have been discussed and the number of people who are agitating is far less than what is being shown on TV. He added that the media should not exaggerate the numbers.

Meanwhile, it is learnt that leaders of all the parties made it clear that the first priority is to cool down tempers in Jammu and also Kashmir and bring about peace. Both the sides of this strife-torn state have to be satisfied, said a senior leader. The possibility of including the Amarnath Sangharsh Samiti members for talks is not being ruled out in the coming days.

One of the formula suggested is that the Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Board build pre-fabricated structures and hand them over to the Amarnath Shrine Board for the period of the yatra. Once the yatra is over the same structures may be pulled down and then re-constructed each year. In this manner the land stays as it is while the shrine board runs its own affairs in conducting the Yatra and providing facilities.

Meanwhile, in the evening Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari criticised the statements made by some valley-based leaders who had threatened that they would prefer going to Muzzafarabad in PoK saying that the Government was all set to deal with separatists. He blamed the BJP of putting its own agenda ahead of national interest. Irresponsible statements have been made by leaders that there was no blockade of the crucial Jammu-Srinagar highway, he said.



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |