More clashes in Kashmir; toll climbs to 23

PTI Srinagar | Updated on January 17, 2018 Published on July 11, 2016

Stranded tourists waiting outside Srinagar Airport during a curfew in Srinagar on Monday. Photo: Nissar Ahmad   -  The Hindu

Normal life has been paralysed due to curfew-like restrictions and separatists-sponsored strike since Saturday.

Mobs today torched a police station in Sopore and targeted the air force airport in Pulwama along with other security installations in Kashmir as ongoing clashes between protesters and security personnel following the killing of Hizbul commander Burhan Wani on Friday left 23 dead and over 250 injured.

“Two persons have died in an incident of violence in Kulgam district yesterday and have been identified as Feroze Ahmad Mir (22) and Khursheed Ahmad Mir (38),” a police official said. With this, the death toll in the violence has gone up to 23, including a policeman.

Normal life has been paralysed due to curfew-like restrictions and separatists-sponsored strike since Saturday.

A group of protesters pelted stones towards the air force airport at Koil in Pulawama this morning, a police official said. They also set afire the dry grass inside the airport complex.

Security forces tried to chase away the mob but the attackers were regrouping and intermittently hurling stones, he said.

Three persons were injured yesterday when security forces opened fire to disperse a mob which was pelting stones at the air force base. One person was injured in police action against protesters in Ganderbal district.

Stone pelting incidents were reported from Sopore, Handwara, Bandipora and Baramulla in north Kashmir, the official said.

Protesters torched a police station at fruit market in Sopore, police said, adding the men, arms and ammunitions and records were safe.

Mobile telephony has been suspended in four districts of south Kashmir since Friday evening as violent protests erupted following killing of Wani in an encounter with security forces. Mobile internet services continued to remain suspended.

Strict restrictions on movement of people continued to be in place in many parts of the Valley including parts of Srinagar city, where the first death in the clashes occurred last evening.

Authorities have strengthened the presence of security forces in vulnerable areas of the city and elsewhere in the Valley to contain the protests, police said.

They said the measured have been taken to avoid any further loss of life or damage to property.

Shops, private offices, business establishments and petrol pumps were shut, while government offices and banks witnessed thin attendance, officials said.

Public transport was completely off the roads while private cars and auto-rickshaws were seen plying at few places in the areas where there were no restrictions, they said.

Educational institutions in the Valley were closed on account of the ongoing summer vacations, while Central University of Kashmir (CUK), Islamic University of Science and Technology (IUST) and Jammu and Kashmir Board of School Education (JKBOSE) have postponed the examinations due to the prevailing situation.

Most of the separatist leaders, including Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik, are either in custody or under house arrest.

Published on July 11, 2016
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