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Protests continue in Srinagar

By Mukhtar Ahmad In Srinagar
September 13, 2008 19:31 IST
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Violence continued in parts of Srinagar on Saturday, as the twin towns of Baramulla and Shopian remained under curfew after clashes between police and protestors claimed two lives and injured over 70 persons on Friday.

The condition of four injured victims is reportedly serious.

Protests broke out again on Saturday in Maisuma, a stronghold of the pro-independence Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front chairman Yasin Malik, who was injured during police baton charge in Lal Chowk on Friday.

Angry youths thronged the Budshah chowk near the city centre, raising pro-freedom slogans and clashing with the police and paramilitary forces.

The mobs refused to disperse, forcing the police to fire warning shots to quell the violence.

However, heavy stone pelting in the Maisuma area forced shopkeepers to down their shutters and traffic remained off the streets.

Security forces have been deployed in strength in the locality and strict restrictions are being enforced in the area.

On Saturday afternoon, mobs pelted stones at the police and CRPF men in the Habba Kadal locality of the interior city.

The police responded with tear gas shelling and baton charges.

Meanwhile curfew continued without any break for the second day the north Kashmir Baramulla town and south Kashmir Shopian town.

Security forces are patrolling the twin towns enforcing strict curfew restrictions.

This followed Friday afternoon's mob violence in these two towns, resulting in the death of two persons and injuries to 45 others.

Meanwhile a CRPF trooper was gunned down by unidentified militants in the Sakedafar locality of old city this afternoon.

Police said militants fired at the trooper from a close range and later fled.

"The trooper identified as S.N.Matapati of 161 batallion who had gone to purchase fruits died on the spot," a police spokesman here said.

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Mukhtar Ahmad In Srinagar