Eight more people were killed and dozens injured in the fourth continuous day of protests in Kashmir on Monday, as mobs defied curfew in most parts of the valley, clashed with security forces and set several government buildings ablaze.
According to official estimates, however, five people died.
A police spokesman said rampaging mobs defied the curfew in Pulwama, Anantnag and Kulgam in south Kashmir, Kupwara in north Kashmir and Budgam in central Kashmir.
“A health department building, horticulture office, tehsil office and railway station were set afire in Budgam,” said the police spokesman.
A police post was also burnt down.
People killed in Monday’s firing by security forces include Ashiq Hussain Bhat, a Class 9 student of south Kashmir’s Kulgam area; Basharat Rishi and Arshid Ahmad of south Kashmir’s Sangam area; Khursheed Ahmed Var in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district; and Muhammad Yaqoob in south Kashmir’s Kakapora area.
Late evening reports suggest a nine-year-old boy injured in the day succumbed to his injuries. But there was no official confirmation of the death.
A youngster, identified as Tariq Ahmad, who was injured on Saturday died on Monday. Hundreds of protesters raising pro-freedom and anti-India slogans defied curfew in Budgam, 25 km from Srinagar, and tried to march towards Chanapora in Srinagar.
Security forces fired in the air and lobbed tear-gas shells to control the protestors.
Security forces resorted to firing at over a dozen places to keep a lid on the protests, including Srinagar, CM Omar Abdullah’s constituency Ganderbal, Baramulla, Pulwama, Anantnag, Shopian and Kupwara.
The police said 39 policemen and 28 CRPF jawans were injured on Monday. The death toll in security forces firing has risen to 23 since Friday and 40 since June 11, when the killing of a teenager triggered the first wave of protests. Nine people were killed on Sunday.