Three civilians, injured policeman die in Kashmir

Srinagar, Sep 13 (IANS) Eid-al-Adha was marred by fresh violence in the Kashmir Valley on Tuesday, leaving three civilians dead while a policeman wounded last month succumbed to his injuries, authorities said.

Two protesters were killed in clashes with security forces — one each in Shopian and Bandipora districts.

A civilian in a mosque died, apparently of heart attack, after a tear smoke shell crashed into the shrine at Awantipora town in Pulwama district.

And for the first time after 20 long years, authorities imposed curfew in Srinagar on Eid day amid intelligence reports that separatists had planned large-scale violence after the prayers in the city.

Shahid Ahmed, 24, was killed in Shopian district when a mob defied curfew and began heavy stone pelting at security forces.

The forces retaliated with tear smoke shells and fired pellets, resulting in Shahid’s death. Ten others were also injured in the street fighting.

Jallaluddin, 45, died of heart attack in Awantipora when a tear smoke shell fired at the protesters outside by security forces abruptly dropped into the mosque where he was.

Earlier, another youth, Murtaza, 25, was killed in clashes in Bandipora in the troubled valley, which has been gripped by seemingly unending unrest since the killing of militant commander Burhan Wani on July 8.

Meanwhile, a police constable, Rouf Ahmed, who was injured in a gunfight in Nowhatta town on India’s Independence Day on August 15, succumbed to injuries on Tuesday.

Eid congregations were disallowed in Srinagar for the first time since the early 1990s when the separatists began their armed struggle.

On Tuesday, the faithful offered Eid prayers in small groups in mosques in towns and villages in the valley.

There were no visible celebrations in the valley. People preferred to be indoors fearing clashes and violence.

Traditionally, Muslims visit friends and relatives to mark the occasion.

The death toll in the ongoing unrest in the valley has now risen to 86, according to police records. Thousands have also been injured in the violence.

–IANS

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