Six injured in anti-US protests in Kashmir
27 August 2004
The Daily Times
Srinagar: Six people including two policemen were wounded on Friday after hundreds of Muslim protesters - angry about American attacks in Iraq - hurled stones and fought street battles with police in Occupied Kashmir, the police said. Nearly 500 protesters poured into the streets of Magam after the Friday prayers to protest the United States (US) military attacks on the Shia holy city of Najaf. They shouted 'Down with America' and 'Death to Bush' as they marched through Magam, 40 kilometers north of Srinagar. The protesters burned tires and hurled stones and bricks at the police, who fired warning shots in the air and used batons and teargas to disperse the mob, police officer Junaid Ahmad told the Associated Press. Four civilians and two policemen were injured, Ahmad said, adding that no one was wounded by the bullets. Anti-US protests were also reported from six other places in Kashmir but there were no casualties. Also on Friday, the region's inspector general of police, K Rajindra, accused insurgents of killing 501 civilians, including 54 women and 27 children, since January. Many civilians were killed for refusing to provide the militants with shelter, or because the militants believed they were police informers, Rajindra said in a statement. A general strike called by lawyers protesting alleged killings and detentions by Indian security forces paralysed Occupied Kashmir on Friday. 'With people being slaughtered, subjected to torture and disappearance, it has become imperative to launch a strong agitation against the perpetrators,' Mian Qayoom, president of the Kashmir Bar Association said while addressing a rally. The strike was supported by local trade unions, an opposition political party and various militant groups. The strike call shut down businesses and schools, driving most traffic off the roads. Militants gunned down a couple in Udhampur district, while a Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist was killed in an encounter with the Rashtriya Rifles and another laid down his arms on Friday, official sources said.Unidentified militants raided Sanabagh-Kobra Dhok in the Mahore locality of Udhampur district in the wee hours of Friday and shot dead 25-year-old Arshad Hussain and his wife Naseema, 20, sources said. The couple had moved from Batoyi village to Dhok for grazing their cattle, source said. The motive behind the killing was not yet known, sources added.Tariq Ahmad Dar, suspected to be a member of Hizbul Mujahideen, was killed in an encounter with troops of the Rashtriya Rifles at Panzinara village of Sumbal in Baramulla district of north Kashmir on Friday morning, sources said. The encounter took place when troops cordoned the village to carry out searches following specific information about the presence of some militants, sources said.An AK 47 rifle, four magazines, a wireless set and an Under-Barrel Grenade Launcher were recovered from him. According to sources, another militant surrendered before the Rashtriya Rifles in Ganderbal area on the outskirts of Srinagar. He had recently sneaked into the valley.