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Police firing kills 1 in Baramulla; curfew clamped

By Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar
Last updated on: October 26, 2008 16:55 IST
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Curfew was imposed in north Kashmir's Baramulla town following large violence that left one dead and ten others wounded two of them with gunshot wounds.

The town on the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad road has been on the boil for the past three days following the arrest of some youths by the police, who had participated in recent protests.

Violent protests broke out on Sunday morning, when several hundred youth protesting the arrests, took to streets in the Baramulla town shouting pro-freedom slogans.

The mob indulged in heavy stone pelting on police and Central Reserve Police Force in the main chowk.

Police said initially, security forces used tear gas and baton charge to control the situation. However, as these anti-riot measures didn't succeed, CRPF troopers opened fire, killing a youth -- Irfan Amin Akhoon -- on the spot and injuring three others.

The injured were taken to the Baramulla sub-district hospital for treatment, where attending doctors referred them to Srinagar for specialised treatment. Seven others were also injured during the clashes.

As the news of Akhoon's death spread in the town, it triggered massive protests forcing authorities to move in heavy paramilitary deployments in the town.

Later, curfew was imposed in the town, and police vehicles fitted with loud speakers made rounds of various localities asking people to return to their homes.

"The body of the youth was handed over to the relatives for burial. Police and paramilitary forces are enforcing curfew in the town," a senior police officer said.

The violence comes as the state administration is busy making arrangements for the smooth conduct of the state assembly polls, scheduled for next month.

The seven-phase polls spread over nearly two months begin on November 17 when ten assembly constituencies go to polls, notification for which was issued here last week. The separatists have called for a poll boycott in the Valley.

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Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar