1 KILLED, CURFEW IN VALLEY IMPOSED AGAIN
Srinagar August 25:
In fresh violence, one person was killed and 40 injured when security forces opened fire and lobbed tear gas shells after curfew clamped in the entire Kashmir valley was defied by protestors at several places.
Appealing for calm, authorities braced for the rally called by separatists at Srinagar's Lal Chowk tomorrow and curfew imposed in all the 10 districts of the Kashmir Valley for the second time in a week as a precautionary measure. Several separatist leaders were put under house arrest ahead of the rally to protest against what they called the "failure" of the Centre to resolve the Kashmir issue. Authorities also feared there may be some threat to the lives of the separatist leaders.
Police said a man identified as Ghulam Qadir Hajjam was killed when a stray bullet hit him when protestors attempted to defy curfew. His son also sustained injuries. The incident took place in the Dalgate area this evening when the protesters tried to storm the battalion headquarters of paramilitary forces, police said.
Security forces had to resort to firing after repeated cane charging and bursting of tear gas shells failed to disperse the mob protesting against the clamping of curfew. A CRPF spokesman Prabhakar Tripathy said the security forces had to open fire as the father-son duo tried to attack their camp, killing one person and wounding another.
Citing "absolutely imperative" reasons, the Jammu and Kashmir government meanwhile restricted local TV channels from broadcasting news and current affairs programmes with immediate effect on the eve of separatists' rally. Police said people belonging to a particular community barged into Delaray and Khanetar villages in Poonch and burnt shops and some vehicles and later clashed with members of another community this afternoon.
In another incident, members of a community stopped two Poonch-bound vehicles and set them afire at Bhench village. On hearing the news, members of another community set afire some shops in the areas and clashes followed in which six people were injured, police said. Members of Village Defence Committee fired in the air and dispersed the warring groups. IGP (Jammu Zone) K Rajinder and Divisional Commissioner Sudhanshu Panday reviewed the law and order situation in Poonch.
Thirteen shops and seven vehicles were damaged after they were set afire during the clashes, police said. Meanwhile, curfew entered the second day in Poonch. Army staged flag marches in the violence-hit town, police said, adding the situation is tense but under control. In the border town of Hiranagar in Kathua district, curfew entered the fourth day.
Authorities, however, lifted curfew in Jammu, Samba and Udhampur districts of Jammu region in view of the improvement in law-and-order situation. Vehicular traffic was normal on Jammu-Srinagar national highway only surface link between Kashmir and rest of country, police said.