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Hurriyat leader Sheikh Abdul Aziz killed in police firing in Kashmir

By Mukhtar Ahmad and Krishnakumar P
Last updated on: August 11, 2008 19:57 IST
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All Parties Hurriyat Conference leader Sheikh Abdul Aziz was killed in police firing in Baramullah district on Monday, according to official sources. Sheikh Aziz, the chairman of the People's League, was a senior executive member of the APHC.

According to latest reports, four persons have been killed and several others wounded in day-long clashes between the protestors -- who had organised a march to Muzaffarabad -- and police and paramilitary forces who tried to stop them.

Thousands of protestors crossed Baramullah town in north Kashmir and marched towards Muzaffarabad, to participate in a march called by the local fruit growers association, to protest the alleged 'economic blockade' against the valley. 

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Security forces opened fire at Chahal, 25 km away from the border town of Uri, to disperse the massive march.

"One person died on the spot while 30 others including Sheikh Abdul Aziz were injured. All the critically injured were shifted to Srinagar's SMHS hospital, where Shiekh Aziz succumbed to injuries," a senior police officer said.

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The authorities have now imposed an indefinite curfew in the entire city and all the major towns of Kashmir to control the highly volatile situation.

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The fruit growers association claims that fruits worth crores of rupees were rotting, because of the alleged blockade of the Srinagar Jammu national highway, over the Amarnath row. The economic blockade forced them to call today's march to Muzaffarabad.

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State authorities have placed all prominent separatist leaders including Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Moulvi Umar Farooq and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti under house arrest.
A complete strike across Kashmir has brought life to a grinding halt. Shops, state government offices, educational institutions, banks and business establishments remained shut.
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Mukhtar Ahmad and Krishnakumar P