As Kashmir Valley continues to simmer in the aftermath of Hizbul Mujahideen commander, Burhan Wani’s death, the state government announced strict curfew in at least four districts on Friday. District magistrates of Srinagar, Anantnag, Ganderbal and Baramulla announced the imposition as the death toll from protests notched up to 37 on Thursday.
The curfew will mean no public or vehicular movement, except medical emergencies, an official spokesperson said.
“The decision has been taken in view of intelligence reports that Pakistan has pumped huge Hawala money to flare up violent street protests in Kashmir, which could be exploited by the militants by staging attacks on security forces,” a home department source added.
Violence erupted in the Valley following the killing of Wani and two militants in an encounter on July 8 in South Kashmir’s Kokernag village. The trio was cornered in a house that was later torched by angry protesters on Thursday.
In the six days since the killing, locals sustained serious injuries, many succumbing to them. The latest death was of a young resident of Kulgam – Irshad Ahmad Dar, who was admitted with a critical head injury, hospital sources said.
“He had very serious haemorrhage in his head and was fighting for his life since his admission,” said a doctor.
Dar was wounded after security forces severely beat him up, sources said.
More than 1,400 people have also been hurt. A majority of them with bullet and pellet injuries are being treated in various hospitals. Most youth who lost their lives have been injured in clashes with security forces on Friday and Saturday, following the death of militant commander Burhan Wani.
Scores of people are also reported missing. Reports from Pulwama said a dead body was allegedly outside the district hospital but the slain youth couldn’t be identified as there was no identity card in his pocket.
“There was a cell phone with the dead body and the civil society people started contacting numbers saved in the cellphone,” Dr Ab Rashid Para at the Pulwama Hospital told a local news portal Kashmir Life. “We had no death case in the hospital till then. It was the first one.”
“The dead body had bullet injury in his abdomen,” Dr Para said, “and the civil society members succeeded in getting through one of the cell numbers.”