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J&K: Protests continue for 4th day

Source: PTI
June 26, 2008 11:54 IST
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Security forces lobbed teargas shells to disperse stone-pelting mobs in different parts of Srinagar as the overall situation in the Kashmir Valley remained tense in the wake of spontaneous strike crippling normal life for the fourth consecutive day on Thursday.

The demonstrators were protesting against the transfer of forest land to Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board.

Police lobbed teargas shells as groups of youths at Natipora, Rambagh, Nowhatta, Khanyar, Nowpora, Hawal and Gojwara hurled stones at police and paramilitary forces personnel on Thursday morning.

However, there were no reports of casualties, official sources said.

Although no organisation has given a call for strike, shops, business establishments and educational institutions remained closed while public transport was off the road in the city and all major towns in the Valley.

In the absence of transport, attendance in the government and semi-government institutions was thin.

At least three persons have been killed and nearly 100 others, including 35 policemen injured in the police firing and clashes between stone-throwing demonstrators and security forces during the past four days in the Srinagar, they said.

Reports from other places in the Valley said near complete hartal was observed in south and north Kashmir.

The row between coalition partners Congress and People's Democratic Party over transfer of 39.88 hectares of forest land in Anantnag district to the Amarnath shrine board has snowballed into a major controversy forcing Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad to stop construction activity on the land and call an all-party meeting on the issue.

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