AMARNATH STIR: 3 DIE, 60 HURT
Jammu August 5:
Two youths were killed and at least 29 others injured on Monday in police firing in Jammu region which continued to simmer over the Amarnath land transfer row while one life was lost in fresh violence in Srinagar.
Two persons were killed and 29 injured, 20 of them security force personnel, in Samba town of Jammu region as demonstrators demanding restoration of land to the Amarnath shrine board came out on the streets defying curfew.
Police resorted to baton-charge and teargassing and when these proved ineffective, they opened fire in which Sanjeev Kumar (24) and Sunny Padha (30) were killed and one suffered injuries. Twenty security force personnel and eight civilians were injured in the pitched battles with the protesters. In Srinagar, Asif Mehraj was hit in the chest by a teargas shell fired by police during clashes with stone-pelting protesters in Maisuma locality, officials said.
Asif collapsed and was shifted to a hospital where doctors declared him brought dead. As soon as news of Asif's death spread, hundreds of men, women and children poured on to the streets and started pelting stones at the police who fired over 25 rounds of teargas shells to disperse the protesters.
Another youth, Abid, was injured when the service rifle of a jawan went off accidentally as the funeral prayers of Mehraj were going on. Abid's condition was said to be stable. At least 30 people, including 11 policemen and three CRPF personnel, were also injured in clashes in Srinagar that went through late in the evening. Meanwhile, the Amarnath Sangrash Samiti, an amalgam of 35 political, religious and social outfits, extended the shutdown in Jammu city by another five days.
Ban on 2 local TV channels lifted: Two local television channels taken off air by authorities were today permitted to resume broadcast by the Jammu and Kashmir High Court which also lifted the ban on SMS messages. JK Channel and Take-I Channel were asked by Jammu administration officials yesterday to stop broadcasting on the ground that their news reports were inciting violence in the curfew-bound areas.
A division bench of justices J P Singh and Sunil Hali stayed an order of Jammu district magistrate and permitted their broadcast till the next hearing on August 8. The court also lifted a restriction placed by the administration banning SMS services. Its response followed a public interest litigation filed by the Bar Association of Jammu.
The judges directed the district administration to treat media identity cards as curfew passes and ensure that they (cards) are honoured by curfew enforcing agencies, including the Army.