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Protests, violence continue in J&K

By Mukhtar Ahmad and Krishnakumar P in Srinagar
August 12, 2008 23:57 IST
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In a violence filled day 14 people including two women were killed in firing resorted to by the security forces in summer capital Srinagar and five other places in Kashmir valley and in the Kishtwar district of Jammu region.

With Monday's six casualties, the toll rose to 20 in past two days with the number of injured to over 250.

Even as the state authorities clamped an indefinite curfew on all major towns in the valley last evening and deployed police and paramilitary in full strength, people came out of their homes in the morning, defying curfew and held protest demonstrations in summer capital Srinagar and all other towns.

A senior police officer said army troops opened fire at a mob in Bandipore, 54 kms north of capital Srinagar on Wednesday morning which defied curfew, killing three persons on the spot and wounding five others.The injured have been taken to hospital for treatment and condition of two is stated to be critical.

Police opened fire at protestors in the Lasjan area on the outskirts of capital city on Tuesday morning killing two persons on the spot and wounding ten others.Two critically wounded women later succumbed to their injuries in the hospital.

Police and paramilitary forces opened fire at protestors at Rainawari, Chanpora, Zoonimar and at Pandach areas resulting in the death of five more persons.

Scores of others who were wounded in the firing and lathi charges have been admitted to various hospitals. Reports of defiance of curfew poured in from almost all the valley towns.

Police sources said processions have been taken out in almost all the major and minor towns of Kashmir against Monday's 'excessive use of force' against the protestors near Chahal on the Srinagar Muzaffarabad road which resulted in the death of two persons including senior separatist leader Sheikh Abdul Aziz.

Police vehicles fitted with loud speakers were making rounds of city and towns and asked people to return to their homes as ambulances fitted with wailing sirens ferried the injured to various hospitals.

Violent protestors defying curfew restrictions took out processions in summer capital Srinagar on Tuesday, prompting police to fire warning shots and use tear smoke and batons charges.

The body of Sheikh Abdul Aziz was buried in the martyr's graveyard this afternoon. The body had been kept in Jamia Mosque at Nowhatta in old city and thousands of people joined the funeral procession and the burial ceremony on Tuesday afternoon.

The leaders of separatist, All Parties Hurriyat Conference including Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq who were placed under house arrest were taken in separate processions to the graveyard by their supporters shouting pro-freedom slogans.

Their supporters broke the police cordon to bring the two separatist leaders out to join the funeral.

Addressing a huge gathering at the graveyard, the leaders asked people to remain calm.

The APHC has called for three day long strike in the valley against the killing.  Communal clashes were reported from the Kishtwar town in Jammu region, where two protestors were killed in police firing.

The killed protestors formed part of a huge demonstration by people who defied curfew to express solidarity with the families of those killed in yesterday's police firing.

Meanwhile governor, N N Vohra made a fervent appeal on Tuesady to the people to maintain calm and expressed deep grief over the loss of life and damage to property in various parts of Jammu and Kashmir regions.

Vohra expressed sympathy with the families who lost their near and dear ones in the unfortunate incidents.
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Mukhtar Ahmad and Krishnakumar P in Srinagar