Teenager killed in fresh Kashmir violence (Roundup)

Srinagar, Aug 31 (IANS) A teenager was killed and over 100 persons were injured in firing by security forces as fresh violence erupted across the Kashmir Valley on Wednesday, prompting the authorities to re-impose a curfew that was lifted two days ago for the first time in nearly two months after improvement in the security situation.

Police and witnesses said Danish Manzoor, 18, was killed after he sustained bullet injuries in a clash between stone-pelting protestors and the security forces in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district, some 60 km from here.

Kashmir’s Divisional Commissioner Baseer Khan said in a statement that a mob “of more than 900 people attacked an army convoy” with stones at Baramulla’s Ladoora village. The army opened fire as the protestors refused to disperse after tear smoke shells and pellets were fired at them.

Six others were also injured in the clash. Three of them were said to be critical and removed to a hospital in Srinagar. Khan said the police has initiated a probe into the incident.

Anti-government and pro-freedom protests also took place in various areas across the valley, including the Srinagar city.

A police spokesperson said security forces stopped demonstrators from marching on the main streets by firing tear smoke shells and shotgun pellets at the stone-throwing protestors. Nearly 100 protestors, including 60 in south Kashmir, were said to have been injured in the clashes.

Protestors set ablaze the house of a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Rajya Sabha member, Nazir Laway, in Chawalgam village of Kulgam district in south Kashmir, some 60 km from here. Nobody was present in the house when arsonists torched it.

Police said the incident took place hours after security forces fired pellets at protestors shouting anti-government and pro-freedom slogans in nearby Katrusoo village.

Violent clashes also erupted in Aishmuqam after security forces removed a marquee installed for a proposed protest sit-in on a road to the Pahalgam tourist resort. At least 40 protestors received injuries when security forces fired pellets to disperse them.

The fresh violence came two days after the authorities partially lifted the curfew following improvement in the situation in the Kashmir Valley that has been on the boil since the July 8 killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani.

The curfew restrictions were re-imposed on Wednesday with heavy presence of police and security forces on the main roads. But there was no official announcment about it.

Divisional Commissioner Khan said the “curfew was lifted from the entire Kashmir Valley” following an “overall improvement” in the security situation.

The militant commander’s killing has triggered an unprecedented wave of violent protests with people defying security restrictions to stage demonstrations and hurl rocks at security forces on a daily basis.

At least 72 people, including two policemen, have been killed in nearly two months of unrest that has paralysed normal life in the valley amid the government-imposed curfew and separatist-called shutdown.

Education institutions, private offices, shops and other business eatablishments remained closed on the 53rd day in a row after the strike called by the separatist Hurriyat Conference.

Separatists on Wednesday extended their shutdown call till September 8, asking people to march on roads for pro-freedom demonstrations.

–IANS

sar/dg

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