Protests in Srinagar after boy’s death, clashes in other parts of Valley (Roundup)

Srinagar, Oct 8 (IANS) Clashes broke out in Srinagar after a boy with pellet injuries died in hospital on Saturday, taking to 91 the toll in the nearly three month-long cycle of violence, and forcing authorities to impose curfew, while violent protests were also reported from other parts of the Kashmir Valley.

Twelve-year-old Junaid Ahmad Bhat of Saidpora area, who was admitted to a hospital with pellet injuries on Friday, died on Saturday morning, leading to tension.

Bhat had been injured on Friday after security forces fired pellets at him.

Local residents, as well as the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), said Bhat had not been part of any protests in the area and his death needs to be probed.

PDP General Secretary Nizamuddin Bhat demanded a probe into the boy’s death.

Hundreds of protesters, carrying Bhat’s body, clashed with the security forces in Eidgah area, and the latter had to use tear smoke shells to disperse the mourners.

As trouble spread to other areas of Srinagar, authorities quickly imposed curfew in areas falling under seven police stations here.

The prevailing tension checked the progress towards peace in the city where private transport and pedestrian movement had nearly normalised during the last one week.

In the evening, tensions, however, decreased marginally in the uptown civil lines area where private vehicles moved following relaxation in protest schedule by the separatists from 5 p.m. to 6 a.m.

However, the old city areas did not witness any lowering of tensions where authorities continued with curfew to prevent protests and violence.

With the boy’s death, as many as 91 people have died and over 12,000 injured during the last 92 days since July 9, when the current unrest started in the Valley after the July 8 killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani.

For the 13th consecutive Friday, no congregational prayers were allowed inside the historic Jamia Masjid in old city’s Nowhatta.

Authorities also foiled the separatist march to the uptown Sonawar area where the office of the United Nations Military Observers Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) is located.

Meanwhile, clashes also erupted in Pulwama and Shopian districts in south Kashmir and Bandipora in the north Kashmir after Friday prayers.

All educational institutions, public transport and main markets have remained shut in the Valley.

Train services between the Valley and Bannihal town in the Jammu region have also remained suspended during this period.

–IANS

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