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Amarnath Land Row
Firing in valley again: 60 hurt

Death toll 21
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, August 13
In a fresh violence today, about 60 persons were injured, 10 of them with bullet wounds, when security forces and the police opened fire and lobbed tear gas shells to disperse demonstrators supporting the ‘Muzaffarabad chalo’ march and protesting the killings during the past three days in the valley.

Meanwhile, three more persons, who were critically injured in yesterday’s firing incidents, died today, taking the death toll to 21.

Ten people were injured at Habba Kadal and Bemina areas here. Security forces opened fire on the pro-freedom slogan shouting processionists at Habba Kadal in the old city. The injured were hospitalised while the condition of one of them is stated to be critical. About 20 people, injured in different parts of the city this afternoon, were admitted to SMHS hospital.

The agitators pelted security personnel in Karan Nagar, Fateh Kadal, Nawa Kadal, Safakadal, Natipora and Chanapora areas of the city with stones.

DGP Kuldeep Khoda said one person was injured in police firing in Bemina when the protesters tried to torch government buildings and vehicles.

He said 23 cases of arson and stone-pelting were reported today compared to 33 yesterday. Mob torched two police motorcycles and damaged the Srinagar Developmental Authority office.

A senior police official said eight of the 21 deaths were “avoidable”. He said four persons were killed in panicky firing when the personal security officer of PDP leader Javed Mustafa Mir fired at the protesters, while four other persons were killed in Army firing in Bandipore.

There were conflicting versions on these deaths as the police claimed the Army showed “impatience” while Army officials maintained that they were left with no other option as the mob were charging towards their camp and hurling stones.

“There was hardly any police presence there even as it was their job to control the mobs,” an Army official said.

The traffic movement on the highway was affected due to the ongoing turmoil. Home secretary Anil Goswami said they stopped a fleet of 50 vehicles carrying commodities from returning back.

Meanwhile, the authorities relaxed curfew in Srinagar for three hours from 8 am and extended up to 5 pm.

Curfew was also lifted in Budgam, Kupwara and Anantnag in view of the improved situation. Two-hour relaxation was given in Baramulla town in north Kashmir.

No curfew relaxation was given in other major towns including Pulwama, Shopian and Tral in south Kashmir and Bandipore in north Kashmir.



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