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HindustanTimes Sun,20 Apr 2014

Kashmir losses another youth, this time to bullets of army

Ashiq Hussain , Hindustan Times  Srinagar, March 05, 2013
First Published: 19:48 IST(5/3/2013) | Last Updated: 01:10 IST(6/3/2013)

Protests against ‘death’ of a Kashmir student in Hyderabad turned violent in Valley on Tuesday after a young-man was allegedly killed by army in Baramulla district, some 50 km North of Srinagar.

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Police and locals said that 27-year-old Tahir Ahmad Sofi was fired upon by army’s 46 Rashtriya Rifles during an alleged stone throwing incident in old town of the district – which has been shut along with rest of the Valley on the call of separatists since Saturday’s mysterious death of a research scholar in Hyderabad.

“He died of the bullet wounds in his chest and head,” said an official at Baramulla district hospital.

 A resident of old town Baramulla, Sofi –pursuing his Masters of Physical Educationor degree – was fired upon by army while protesting against the mysterious death of  Mudasir Ahmad Malla, a resident of Pulwama in south Kashmir. Three more youth were injured in the firing.

“The army is saying that a convoy was pelted upon with stones following which they opened fire. There was no law and order situation, nor was police or CRPF present in the area. We have asked police to file an FIR and may also go for a magisterial inquiry,” said Baramulla district magistrate, GA Khawaja.

The Valley has been shut for the past two days after 29-year-old Malla, a research scholar, was found hanging in English and Foreign Languages University (EFLU) of Hyderabad on Saturday night.

Though police in Hyderabad suspected it to be "a case of suicide following victim's fight with a close friend", separatists pointed their fingers towards the southern city’s “police and zealous right wing nationalists”. 

Kashmir has been on the edge since February 9 hanging of Mohammad Afzal Guru. Three youths, including two teenagers, were killed in clashes with security forces.

The fresh killing is believed to aggravate the already fragile situation. In capital Srinagar Police used force to break up protest demonstrations in old city. A joint advisory council of separatists had asked people to march towards Parigam village in Pulwama district to condole with the family of Malla.

Hundreds of young men marched from the Rajouri Kadal area in downtown city, chanting anti-India slogans, when police and paramilitaries fired tear smoke shells to disperse them.

In Magraypora area, less than a mile away from Parigam, police and the paramilitaries used force to stop a protest demonstration from advancing further. Rolls of concertina wire had already been placed to stop any movement towards Parigam.

Hundreds of angry youth threw rocks at the police and paramilitaries, who in turn lobbed tear smoke shells to disperse them, witnesses said.

Three policemen, including two officers – SHO Magraypora and SHO Chadoora – were also wounded.

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