April 2016 News

Kashmir Fumes As Death Toll Rises To 4

13 April 2016
Rising Kashmir
Shahjahan Afzal and Sumaiya Yousuf

Srinagar: One more youth was killed in fresh clashes between protesters and government forces in Kupwara district on Wednesday, raising the death toll to four, with protests against civilian killings spreading to other areas of Kashmir valley. The youth, identified as Jehangir Ahmad Wani, son of Ghulam-ud-Din Wani of Nagri, Kupwara, died after being hit by a teargas shell in the head during protests in Drugmulla area of Kupwara district. Earlier in the day, Raja Begum (55) succumbed to injuries she had sustained in Tuesday's firing. Protests were reported from different places even as authorities imposed curfew-like restrictions in six police station areas of Srinagar city and Handwara area of Kupwara. Protests were reported from adjoining areas of Handwara, including Langate, where a police post was set on fire. 'The barrack of the police post Langate has been gutted and now the main building of the police post has also caught fire,' a police official told Rising Kashmir over phone. He said a similar attempt was made to set a police post on fire at Magam, falling under the jurisdiction of police station Handwara, but the policemen foiled the bid. 'The miscreants were chased away by the cops,' the official said adding the situation across Kupwara district continues to be tense. In downtown Srinagar and some areas of uptown including Maisuma, Chanapora, Natipora, Rambagh and Barzulla, youth took to streets to protest the civilian killings. The angry youth clashed with police and paramilitary personnel, who lobbed tear smoke shells and resorted to baton charge. Restrictions were imposed in Rainawari, Maharajgunj, Nowhatta, Khanyar, Safakadal and Maisuma police station areas of Srinagar. However, in view of Baisakhi festival, movement of members of Sikh community was allowed. Authorities had also enforced curfew-like restrictions in Handwara and Kupwara towns in border district of Kupwara to prevent people from taking to roads and staging anti-government demonstrations. SP Handwara, Ghulam Jeelani said the situation remained under control. A police official told Rising Kashmir that restrictions will remain in place in parts of Srinagar and other restive parts of the Valley on Thursday as well in view of the strike call given by the separatists. SHUTDOWN: Complete shutdown was observed across the valley in response to the strike call given by separatist groups against the civilian killings in Handwara. Shops, business establishments and petrol pumps were shut in areas other than those were restrictions have been imposed. Public transport was off the roads while private cars, cabs and auto-rickshaws were seen plying in some areas. POLICE VERSION: According to police, after burial of three civilians at Kupwara, Langate and Handwara, 'miscreants attacked Police Post Magam (P-S Handwara) and caused extensive damage to the building'. 'Similarly, P-P Langate was also attacked by a mob of over 2000 causing extensive damage to the building and burning down of a shed within the premises of P-P Langate. Miscreants also resorted to heavy stone pelting in town Handwara during the day,' reads the statement issued by police. 'During law and order problem at Drugmula Kupwara, one Jahangir Ahmad Wani S-O Ghulam-ud-Din Wani R-O Nagri, Kupwara, received head injury and later succumbed in the hospital. He was buried in his ancestral graveyard later in the evening.' As per the statement, police exercised 'utmost restraint despite heavy provocations'. 'During the process of dispersal of unruly mobs, about 110 Police personnel got injured. Cases have been registered regarding death of civilians in law and order incidents and investigation started,' it adds. According to the police statement, some parts of downtown Srinagar witnessed stone pelting in which two CRPF personnel - Head Constable Rajesh Verma of 54 Bn and Constable Mukesh Mishra of 49th Bn- were injured. They were admitted in SMHS Hospital for treatment. One of them was later referred to Bone and Joints hospital Barzulla.