Fresh clashes in Kashmir claim another life, death toll rises to 51
SRINAGAR: Dozens of persons including several security force personnel were injured in fresh clashes in Kashmir today even as the death toll in the ongoing unrest rose to 51 after a youth hit by pellets was found dead outside a hospital here.
Authorities also extended curfew to more areas of the Valley as a precautionary measure to maintain law and order but the orders were defied at many places including Chattabal area of the city -- the native place of Reyaz Ahmad, who was killed last night allegedly by security forces.
Clashes between protesters and security forces were reported from many parts of the Valley with Kulgam district in south Kashmir witnessing large-scale violence that left dozens of persons including several security personnel injured. Unofficial reports put the number of injured at 70 but a police spokesman refused to comment on the matter.
The body of Ahmad, an ATM security guard, which bore a big perforation in the abdomen, was found outside SMHS hospital, a police official said. He said initially it was not clear how the youth had been killed but an X-ray of the body showed presence of more than 300 pellets inside it. The death of the youth led to protests in Bagiyas and adjoining areas early this morning, he said.
Police has registered a case under section 302 RPC (murder) against unknown security force personnel and started investigation into the case as there were no reports of any clashes last night in the area where the youth was found dead, the official said. The authorities extended curfew to more areas of the Valley for maintaining law and order in view of violent protests yesterday that led to death of a youth in Lethpora area of Pulwama distict and injuries to several others.
Curfew remained in force in five police station areas of old city and was extended to Batamaloo, Shaheedgunj, Soura, Zadibal, Qamarwari and Bemina areas of the city as a precautionary measure, the official said. He said curfew was also imposed in Khanpora area of Baramulla district, Awanitpora and Pampore in Pulwama district while Anantnag town in south Kashmir also continued to remain under curfew.
"There are restrictions on the assembly of four or more people under Section 144 CrPC in rest of Kashmir," he added. Normal life remained affected for the 26th consecutive day in the Valley due to the curbs imposed by the authorities and separatist sponsored strike against the killing of civilians in security forces' action during clashes which erupted in the wake of killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in an encounter on July 8.
Schools, colleges, business establishments, banks and private offices remained closed while public transport remained off roads. The attendance in government offices was also thin, the official said. Mobile internet services continued to remain snapped in the entire Valley where the postpaid mobile telephony services have been restored across all networks. The incoming facility on prepaid connections has also been restored, but the outgoing calls are barred on such numbers.
The separatist camp has extended the shutdown call in Kashmir till August 5, calling for march to Hazratbal shrine on Friday.