Srinagar: A teenager was killed and 17 other protesters were injured as fresh protests and clashes broke out between irate crowds and security forces in various parts of Kashmir on Friday afternoon despite strict curfew in all the ten districts of the Valley.
Cellular phone services have been snapped partially and Srinagar's historic Grand Mosque was locked and no Friday congregational prayers were allowed.
Reports from Kupwara said that security forces opened fire to disperse a group of protesters when it turned violent in Drugmulla area of the district. One of them identified as Mushtaq Ahmed Ganai was killed and three others were wounded, witnesses and hospital sources said.
14 people were injured in clashes which broke out in the towns of Sopore, Delina and Pattan in neighbouring Baramulla district. Two of them have been hit in police firing and the rest sustained injuries due to the use of teargas canisters and pellet guns by security forces against stone-pelting crowds, police sources said.
At least, half a dozen J&K policemen were injured when a police station at Yari Pora in southern Kulgam district was targeted with a hand grenade by suspected militants at 5.30 pm. The area had earlier witnessed intense stone-pelting incidents involving curfew-defying youth, reports said.
Meanwhile, more policemen have come under mob attacks. In one such incident which occurred in Srinagar, the private Maruti Alto car of a cop was torched and he was severely thrashed by a group of youth in Qamarwari locality. As anger against the security forces and government is at its height following the killing of nearly 40 people in violence, mainly in police firings, a 4,000-strong mob barged into the orchard of a Kashmiri entrepreneur Khurram Mir in Kokernag area in south of the Valley and uprooted or cut down 7,000 fruit bearing trees.
This apparently in the belief that he was a supporter of ruling Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) as the apple farm was inaugurated by then Chief Minister and PDP patron Mufti Muhammad Sayeed last year.
The ongoing unrest was triggered by the killing of militant commander Burhan Muzaffar Wani by security forces in Kokernag on July 8. A mob on Friday torched the private house in which Wani, often referred to as the new-age poster boy of militancy in Jammu and Kashmir, was along with two associates trapped and subsequently killed.
Official said that hundreds of policemen and paramilitary personnel have been injured in mob attacks. Hospitals in Srinagar and elsewhere are full of injured civilians; over 400 of them with bullet and pellet injuries above their waist line. Five of those who were hit in their eyes in pellet firing have lost their vision completely, and about 30 are in bad condition.
Dr. Sudharshan Khokhar who is heading a 3-member team of Ophthalmologists and surgeon specialists rushed in from Delhi following a request was made to the Indian government by Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti, earlier this week said, “It is a war like situation here. We have never seen injuries on this scale”.
About 4,000 paramilitary personnel and two fully equipped infantry battalions of Army have been brought to Kashmir Valley from Delhi, Jammu and other parts of the country to supplement the effort by thousands of men from J&K police and already stationed here CRPF aimed at containing situation, officially acknowledged to be "alarming"....