Ceasefire under strain in restive Kashmir: Three grenade attacks, clashes in a single day

Six grenade attacks in the Kashmir Valley, including one at the residence of PDP MLA Mushtaq Shah, have taken place in the last 48 hours.

Published: 03rd June 2018 01:18 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd June 2018 05:11 AM   |  A+A-

Protesters amid tear smoke throw stones and bricks on the police during a clash in Srinagar on Saturday June 02 2018. (PTI Photo)

Express News Service

SRINAGAR: Clashes after the death of an injured youth and three grenade attacks marked a restive Saturday in Srinagar, putting the Kashmir ceasefire under strain. Four CRPF personnel and two civilians, including a woman, were injured in the grenade attacks on security forces at Fatehkadal, Budshah Chowk and Magarmal Bagh, the police said. Six grenade attacks in the Kashmir Valley, including one at the residence of PDP MLA Mushtaq Shah, have taken place in the last 48 hours.

On May 16, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had announced unilateral Ramzan ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir. It was soon complimented by the Indian and Pakistani DGMOs agreeing to fully implement the 2003 border ceasefire pact to stop cross-border firing. But, the string of grenade attacks has seemingly put pressure on security forces, who maintain their right to retaliate if they come under attack.

Injured youth dies

In old parts of Srinagar, stone-pelting began soon after the death of Qaiser Amin Bhat, who was run over by a CRPF vehicle in Srinagar’s Nowhatta area. Qaiser was admitted to Srinagar’s Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences where he succumbed to his injuries on Friday late night. The CRPF vehicle had run over Qaiser and Mohammad Younis Bhat during stone pelting at Nowhatta area. Doctors attending on Younis said he had received critical injuries but his condition is stable now. Two FIRs were registered in connection with the Friday’s episode, a police officer said. “We have lodged cases against protestors and against CRPF.”

Policemen stands guard after a clash with the protesters in Srinagar on Saturday. June 02, 2018 (PTI Photo)

The second FIR against CRPF mentions rash driving and putting lives of others in danger. It was the second such casualty after an 18-year-old youth was crushed to death by a police vehicle during stone pelting in Noorbagh area on May 6, IG, CRPF, Ravideep Singh Sahi said an officer was travelling in the vehicle to supervise the area on Friday. “It (vehicle) came under heavy stone pelting by a mob and some youths jumped on the vehicle.

The men and the officer inside the vehicle observed maximum restraint and didn’t open fire. The driver tried to manoeuvre and two youths sustained injuries in the process,” Singh said, adding that it was an accident. Later, the police fired dozens of tear smoke shells near Qaiser’s residence in Fateh Kadal area of downtown Srinagar to stop youths from staging a protest and participating in his funeral prayers. The body was taken to martyrs’ graveyard at Eidgah. National Conference leader and former CM Omar Abdullah alleged violation of Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) by the forces in crowd control policing at Nowhatta. The Kashmiri separatists also slammed the government for the death of the youth.

J&K cop injured in militant attack succumbs

SRINAGAR: A Special Police Officer (SPO) of the Jammu and Kashmir Police who was injured in a militant attack in Pulwama district last month succumbed to his injuries in a Srinagar hospital on Saturday. According to police, Aquib Ahmad Wagay, who was injured in a militant attack in Puchal in Pulwama on May 29, succumbed to critical injuries in Sher-e- Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS)  Srinagar. SPOs are engaged in the state to fight militancy.

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