July 2016 News

Kashmir Protest On, Toll Up To 30

11 July 2016
The Indian Express
Bashaarat Masood

Srinagar: WHILE PROTESTS continued in the Valley for the third consecutive day, spreading to Srinagar after a death in the city late last night, there were no fresh deaths on Monday. The toll, however, rose to 30 as some deaths in south Kashmir over the weekend had not been reported. Appealing for peace, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said the government was taking 'various measures to restore calm' but she required 'people's support'. 'I appeal to all sections of society, including political leaders, media, religious heads, business community and prominent citizens to rise to the occasion and help the government in restoring peace and normalcy,' an official statement quoted her as saying during a two-hour interaction with a civil society group. 'The police and paramilitary forces have been asked to exercise maximum restraint to avoid loss of lives or grievous injuries'. On Monday, more than 50 people were injured - 17 of them critically - when security forces fired pellets and opened fire on protesters at several places in south Kashmir. On Saturday, the state government had said that eight protesters were killed in south Kashmir. However, on Monday, as communication was partially restored in the four districts of south Kashmir, more deaths were reported. While the civil and police officials were tightlipped about the toll, official sources said 30 people, including a policeman, had died since Friday evening when Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Muzaffar Wani was killed in an encounter at Kokernag in Anantnag. Sources said 15 people - including the policeman who died when protesters pushed a police vehicle into the Jhelum - were killed in Anantnag district, 12 were killed in the twin districts of Kulgam and Shopian, two in Pulwama, and one in Srinagar. As protests continued on Monday, security forces fired pellets and opened fire on protesters when they threw stones at a CRPF camp in Burhan Wani's village of Tral in south Kashmir. Sixteen protesters were injured in the firing. At Bijbehara, security forces opened fire on protesters, injuring three persons - two of them critically injured. Police claimed militants fired on security forces in the village. 'At Zirpara Bijbehara, militants fired on police and CRPF personnel deployed for law and order duties, which resulted in injuries to three persons who have been hospitalised,' said police. Four protesters were injured when security forces opened fire in Shopian. The protesters were part of the funeral procession of a 13-year-old who was killed Sunday. Police said protesters set on fire police posts at Litter in Pulwama and Sopore. At Awantipora, protesters set on fire the residential quarters of CRPF.