Srinagar, July 15 (IANS) A policeman was killed when a militant hiding in a protesting mob threw a grenade and opened fire on police as authorities clamped a strict curfew across the Kashmir Valley fearing violence post the first Friday prayers after the killing of militant leader Burhan Wani.
Two protesters were shot dead and at least a dozen of them injured in firing by security forces as more violence and arson were reported from across the valley reeling under a blanket curfew for the seventh day.
A police spokesman said here that a crowd of hundreds attacked a police station in Kulgam district of south Kashmir — the worst hit region in the latest unrest — after midday congregational prayers.
As policemen lobbed tear gas canisters to disperse the stone-throwing mob, a militant hiding in the crowd first hurled a grenade and then fired from an AK-47 rifle at the policemen. A policeman was killed and six others were injured in the militant-and-mob attack.
Police said the mob later tried to set ablaze municipal and sub-district office structures in Kulgam. Security forces opened fire on the crowd and a bullet killed one of the protesters.
In north Kashmir, police said, street clashes erupted in at least a dozen places. An angry mob threw rocks at an army post located at Drugmulla in north Kashmir’s Kuwpara district, some 100 km from here.
Unable to disperse the stone throwers, security forces opened fire, killing one of the demonstrators. He was identified as Mushtaq Ganie, 13. Three more protesters were injured in the Kupwara firing.
Four persons sustained pellet wounds in firing by police in north Kashmir’s Sopore area. The injured were brought to Srinagar’s SMHS hospital where the condition of one of them was stated to critical.
With the latest deaths, the toll in the ongoing unrest has gone up to 41. Most persons died in south Kashmir where Wani – the poster boy of Kashmir’s new age militancy – belonged to. More than 1,500 people have been injured – most of them with pellet bullets – in the unending street violence.
In Nathnusa village, also in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district, guerrillas threw a grenade at paramilitary troopers, injuring four of them.
Violent clashes were also reported from old Srinagar and some other parts of the city with masked protesters at many places carrying Pakistan’s green flags and hurling stones at police and paramilitary forces.
No Friday prayers were offered in Srinagar’s biggest mosque – Jamia Masjid – known for its weekly stone pelting unrest after every Friday prayer.
However, prayers were offered in other mosques of the valley after which people held special funeral prayers for the dead killed in the ongoing unrest.
The rest of the violence-ravaged valley was calm as curfew remained in place. Authorities suspended all internet and mobile phone connectivity in the valley to prevent the spread of passion-stoking rumours and posts on social media by anti-social elements.
Life in the valley remained crippled for the seventh day due to the curfew and separatist-sponsored shutdown.
The separatist groups have extended their shutdown call for until Monday, asking people to come out against civilian killings by security forces. This means that normal life will remain paralyzed on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.