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HindustanTimes Tue,16 Sep 2014

Shopian killings: separatists strike disrupts normal life

Peerzada Ashiq, Hindustantimes.com  Srinagar, September 08, 2013
First Published: 12:32 IST(8/9/2013) | Last Updated: 14:34 IST(8/9/2013)

South Kashmir's twin towns of Shopian and Kulgam remained tense and under strict curfew on Sunday. Four youth, among which two, according to the police, were anti-national elements, were killed yesterday in CRPF firing in south Kashmir's Shopian district, 60 km away from Srinagar.

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A huge contingent of police and CRPF was fanned out in the twin towns in the morning. People were asked through public address system not to come out of their homes.

From Shopian, the tension spread to adjacent town of Kulgam when one slain youth was identified as Tariq Ahmad Mir, a resident of Kulgam's Okay village.

According to police spokesman, a CRPF checking party was fired upon by anti-national elements in Gagran, Shopian on Saturday afternoon. "The CRPF party retaliated and in the ensuing firefight, two anti-national elements got killed," said the spokesman. The youth were on two bikes when they were fired at.

It is for the first time that the police used the term "anti-national" elements and not militants for the slain youth, who were carrying a pistol and two grenades.

The phone recovered from anti-national elements was used by militants of Lashker-e-Toiba, said the spokesman.

Locals, however, claimed that all the four killed were civilians and "two were killed for being part of protests".

There were reports of people attempting to break curfew. Preliminary reports suggest that hundreds of angry protesters reached  Gagren area, where the incident took place, and organised a sit-in outside the CRPF camp.

Separatists shutdown call issued in the wake of the killings paralysed life in Srinagar and other districts in north and south Kashmir. Shops, business centres remained closed and traffic was thin on roads.


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