M A I N   N E W S

Valley bleeds as eight die in fresh clashes; over 60 hurt
Curfew restrictions defied in many areas
Tribune News Service/PTI

Kashmiri women raise slogans during the funeral procession of Tanveer Ahmed in Pampore
Kashmiri women raise slogans during the funeral procession of Tanveer Ahmed in Pampore on Sunday.

Srinagar, August 1
Violence in Kashmir escalated further today when eight persons, including a woman, were killed and over 60 injured in separate incidents with five of them perishing in a blast after explosives went off in a police station set afire by a mob. Curfew restrictions were also openly defied in downtown Srinagar and many other areas.

With the eight deaths, the number of people killed in the fresh wave of violence since Friday has risen to 14.

Five civilians were killed and 35 others injured when a mob set afire tonight to a police station, where explosives were stored, triggering a massive blast in Khrew area on outskirts of Srinagar city, the police said.

A mob had laid siege to the police station, 20 km from here, and started hurling stones after which additional forces were rushed to the area to rescue the police personnel.

The police said a loud explosion took place as the protesters set afire the abandoned police station, where some explosive materials besides a cooking gas cylinder were also kept. Four civilians died on the spot while fifth person succumbed to injuries late in the night.

In Khrew earlier in the day, protesters attempted to set afire a police post and take away the weapons. As the crowd refused to calm down, police fired at them leading to the death of a woman identified as Afrosa.

Barring Handwara, Baramulla town, Budgam, Awanitipora and Ganderbal, curfew remained in force in rest of the Valley for the second day.
In other incidents, two persons were killed as the police opened fire to disperse mobs, who blocked the national highway on the city outskirts.

The situation in saffron-rich area of Pampore turned ugly when agitators blocked NH-1A at a number of places by erecting barricades from Pantha Chowk to Pampore, a police spokesman said.

The mobs blocked the highway at Galandar, Kadlabal, Barsoo, Frastabal and Pampore and also torched office-cum- residence of a tehsildar. They set afire a police vehicle and damaged several others.

The protesters snatched weapons from local court guards and also indulged in heavy stone pelting on a police station and security personnel, the spokesman said, adding the situation turned worse when suspected terrorists fired on the personnel from amongst them.

After a baton-charge and teargas shelling failed to disperse the mobs, the police opened fire to quell them. While Nayeem Ahmad Shah died on the spot, two others sustained injuries. A number of policemen, including a DSP of Awantiopora suffered injuries. Another person Raees also succumbed to his injuries later in the hospital.





Alarm bells ring in Delhi, PM chairs CCS meet
Tribune News Service & PTI

New Delhi, August 1
As Kashmir valley witnesses a fresh spurt in violence, the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh met tonight to take stock of the situation.

This is the second time in less than a month the CCS has met to discuss the situation in Kashmir where a renewed wave of unrest since Friday just when violence appeared to be ebbing has led to death of nine people in three days in alleged police firing.

During the meeting, reports of various intelligence agencies and views of the political parties were discussed and the inputs received from the Jammu and Kashmir Government and Governor NN Vohra analysed.

The CCS, while taking stock of the situation, also discussed the proposal of Chief Minister Omar Abduallah for beginning an internal dialogue with all shades of opinion.

The state government had also sent a request for a policy to rehabilitate former militants who had served their jail sentence and were unemployed besides a comprehensive policy for those youths who were willing to return from Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir.

It may be mentioned that intelligence agencies had been reporting that the majority of stone pelters have been those who have been former militants and are currently unemployed.

Besides the PM, others who attended the meeting were Union Home Minister P Chidambaram, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Defence Minister AK Antony and other senior bureaucrats from the Home and Defence ministries.




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