Violence erupted yet again in Kashmir on Friday, leading to the death of a 22-year-old in Baramulla district, authorities said.
The Valley has been caught in bloody clashes between civilians and security forces after militant commander Burhan Wani was gunned down in an encounter in July. Since then, Kashmir has been under curfew – the longest continuous lockdown yet – entering day 77 on Friday.
Waseem Ahmad Lone of Nadihal area in Sopore died of a bullet injury, a senior doctor at the district hospital in Baramulla told Hindustan Times. He was injured in clashes that broke out across several parts of Kashmir after the noon congregational prayers.
To contain the situation, prayers at several important mosques in the Valley were disallowed.
Clashes were further reported from some areas of Srinagar city. In Bandipora district, they got more intense as people started pro-azaadi protests after prayers, locals said.
Clashes also broke out in Budgam district’s Chrar-e-Sharif town and at Anantnag’s Kokernag, where scores of people were reportedly injured.
With Lone, the death toll from the violence touched 87, including two police officers, while hundreds have been injured and maimed by pellet shots.
Friction between locals and security forces stem from the civilian deaths and injuries, but is also fed by a pro-independence ‘azaadi’ movement that gained momentum after Wani’s death.
Kashmir separatists have been releasing weekly protest agendas; following Friday’s clashes, they called for marches to various tehsil headquarters across the Valley.
Due to the officially imposed restrictions and protest shutdown called by the joint separatist leadership, all educational institutions, main markets, public transport and other businesses remained suspended.
The separatist leadership extended its protest programme till September 29, but relaxed the strike on some days, unlike the previous week.
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