Clashes Continue For Second Day In Srinagar

13 September 2008
The Times Of India

Srinagar: Street protests continued in the Valley for the second consecutive day on Saturday against the killing of two 'pro-azadi' protesters on Friday. The two were killed when police opened fire at separate rallies in Shopian and Baramulla. The rallies are part of separatists' month-long protests to press for the implementation of UN resolutions on Jammu & Kashmir.An official said an indefinite curfew remained in force in Baramulla and Shopian while angry youth forced a bandh across many localities in Srinagar. A police officer said scores of youth took to streets at Maisuma, Gaw Kadal, Lal Chowk and Hari Singh High Street areas of Srinagar and tried to stage a 'pro-freedom' rally. 'However, security forces dispersed the mobs by resorting to baton charge and teargas shelling,' he said and added protesters retaliated by pelting stones. 'The pitched battles continued till late in the day,' he said. Reports from north Kashmir town of Kupwara said life remained crippled as the the area observed a bandh against the Friday killings. Shops and business establishments remained closed while traffic was off the roads. Educational institutions wore a deserted look while government offices, too, remained closed. Lawyers, too, boycotted work to protest against the alleged manhandling of one of their colleagues by the CRPF. Raising pro-freedom slogans, a lawyer said the boycott was also to lodge a protest against the 'criminal silence' over the killing of innocent Kashmiris. 'We condemn killing of two people who were part of a peaceful procession and demand an immediate action against the CRPF troopers responsible for the excesses,' he said. Reacting to the 'coerced' bandh, Hurriyat hawk Syed Ali Shah Geelani said this was a 'handiwork of intelligence agency wanting to vitiate the atmosphere and create confusion among the public'.