July 2007 News

35 hurt as Kashmiris clash with police in Kupwara

2 July 2007
The News International

Srinagar: Thirty-five people were hurt on Monday when thousands of villagers chanting, Death to killers, clashed with police in Kupwara town, accusing them of gunning down innocent civilians. The demonstrations came as police continued to probe five cases elsewhere in the state in which innocent civilians were detained, killed and passed off as militants by security forces seeking cash rewards and promotions. The new in Kupwara clashes left 15 policemen and 20 civilians hurt. The clashes, in which over 3,000 villagers chanted, We want justice, and stoned government buildings, broke out after four people died in police firing on Thursday last. Local residents say Irshad Ahmed, a 27-year-old man from a nearby village Putoshahi, was killed by police in a fake gun battle. Authorities say Ahmed and two other still-unidentified men were militants and were killed in a gun battle on Thursday close to the headquarters of the armys infantry unit in Kupwara. A fourth person, a female schoolteacher, was killed in the crossfire, police said. The protesters say police arrested the three youths, brought them to the area and later killed them. It was a fake gun battle. The woman was fatally shot because she was a witness to the killings by government forces, Bashir Ahmed, president of a local lawyers group. He demanded an investigation.


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