Tension prevails in Kashmir as death toll rises to 58

Youth succumbs to injuries; Curbs, shutdown remain in force for 31st day, NC takes out protest rally.

Published: 08th August 2016 08:54 PM  |   Last Updated: 08th August 2016 11:08 PM   |  A+A-

SRINAGAR: The tension continued to prevail in Kashmir after an injured youth on Monday succumbed to injuries sustained in police action, taking the death toll of people killed in ongoing unrest triggered by killing of 21-year-old Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani to 58.

The curfew, restrictions and shutdown continued to remain in force for 31st consecutive day today while opposition National Conference took out a protest rally to condemn civilian killings.

17-year-old Amir Bashir Lone of south Kashmir's Shopian district, succumbed to injuries at a Srinagar hospital this morning.

Lone had sustained critical pellet injuries on his head in security forces' action on protestors during clashes in Shopian on Friday.

With Lone's death, the death toll of people killed in the ongoing unrest in the Valley has risen to 58. Among the dead include two police personnel.

The unrest has been triggered by killing of Burhan in an encounter with security forces in Kokernag area of South Kashmir on July 8.

Since Burhan’s killing Kashmir is in turmoil and authorities have been imposing curfew and restrictions to foil protests.

The authorities enforced curfew in six police station areas Srinagar, parts of South, Central and North Kashmir. Restrictions were also enforced in parts of the Valley.

Coupled by curbs imposed by authorities and shutdown called by separatists, life in Valley remained crippled for 31st day today.  All shops and business establishments, educational institutions, petrol pumps in Srinagar and other parts of Valley remained closed while public transport was off the roads.

Tension continued to prevail across the Valley with people preferring to stay indoors.

Clashes between youth and cops took place at Semthan area in South Kashmir’s Anantnag district. The policemen fired pellets and tear smoke shells to disperse the protestors.

At least 12 people including eight women sustained injuries in the police action. Four women were hit by pellets and have been hospitalized.

Clashes also took place between youth and cops in Dalgate area in Srinagar.  The clashes were also reported from Sopore and Bandipora areas.

A police spokesman said except for five minor incidents of stone pelting, overall situation in the Valley remained normal and under control.

Meanwhile, opposition National Conference leaders and workers staged a protest march against the excessive use of force on protesters in Kashmir.

Wearing black bands, sitting and ex-NC legislators including Mian Altaf, Mubarak Gul, Shameema Firdous, Mohammad Akbar Lone, Sheikh Ishfaq Jabar, Abdul Majid Larmi, Ali Mohammad Dar, Showkat Hussain Ganai besides party leaders Sheikh Mustafa Kamal, Chowdhary Mohamamd Ramzan, Nasir Aslam Wani, Sharif-ud-din Shariq, took out a protest march from party headquarters in Srinagar.

They were, however, stopped by police from marching ahead near the tourist reception centre. The NC leaders later returned to their headquarters.

Condemning the government for disallowing the party leaders from taking protest rally, NC General Ali Maohmmad Sagar Secretary lashed out at the Government for unleashing a wave of “tyrannical repression” in the Valley, where even democratic forces were being targeted and prevented from raising their voices.

He said the Central Government should wake up from its deep slumber and look beyond protecting its own inefficient and inept PDP-BJP government in the State and waste no further time in initiating a comprehensive and open-ended dialogue with Pakistan and the stakeholders in Kashmir, including the leadership of the Hurriyat Conference.

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