M A I N   N E W S

Amarnath Land Row
11 die in Kashmir police firing
Ehsan Fazili & Kumar Rakesh
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, August 12
Violence escalated in the Kashmir valley today as 11 persons, including a minor and TV channel cameraman, were killed in police firing.

Reacting strongly against the killing of protesters in yesterday’s police firing, people in thousands defied curfew and took to streets in almost every district of the valley.

Four persons were killed at Paribal in Bandipore district in north Kashmir and seven in and around Srinagar.

Thirty-three incidents of protest demonstrations and processions were reported from different parts of the valley today.

The first report of violence came in from Bandipore. Defying curfew restrictions, a group of at least thousand persons emerged on the Sopore-Bandipore road at Aloosa.

The security forces fired at the agitators leaving four persons dead and seven others injured. Two of the killed were identified as Mushtaq Ahmad Bhat and Ali Mohammad Khanday.

In another incident, security personnel opened fire on the agitators, killing three persons including a woman.

This firing incident caused panic after which a security man of PDP leader Javed Mustafa Mir opened fire leaving six security personnel, including an IPS officer, SDPO Mahesh Kumar, injured.

TV 9 cameraman Javed Ahmad died when a bullet hit him at Bagimehtab in Budgam district, where he was covering the violence.

A minor died in police firing at Rainawari here when an agitated mob tried to set ablaze the house of National Conference leader and former MLA Mohammad Sayeed Akhoon. Another youth was killed at Nagabal near here when a procession of demonstrators from Ganderbal district was heading towards the capital city.

Meanwhile, the body of Hurriyat leader Sheikh Abdul Aziz who was killed in yesterday’s firing, was laid to rest at Eidgah graveyard, where a number of separatist leaders and militants were buried.

Swelling crowds “forced” the police to release Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, chiefs of two Hurriyat factions, from their Hyderpora and Nigeen residence, respectively, where both were kept under house arrest.

A massive crowd, including separatist leaders Geelani, Mahammad Yaseen Malik and Mirwaiz, attended the burial.

Geelani said the ‘Muzaffarabad-chalo’ march would continue till August 15 and claimed that they had scored a “moral victory” over the protesters in Jammu by not attacking any religious place or member of the minority community in the valley.

Yesterday, thousands of people joined the Muzaffarabad-chalo march, called by fruit growers and supported by both factions of Hurriyat Conference, leading to clashes between the protesters and the police. Six persons were killed in police firing.

DGP Kuldeep Khoda confirmed that 11 persons were killed in the violence amid curfew restrictions in the Kashmir valley today, taking the death toll to 17 during the past two days.

At least 192 police and CRPF personnel were injured in these incidents.



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