Security forces faced tough time on Monday controlling situation in north-eastern Kashmir’s Bandipora district where protesters attempted to set afire an army school and a government building to protest the killing of two youth.
“A group of people attempted to set afire army’s goodwill school near Hajin town. The police showed restrain to avoid any untoward incident,” Bandipora deputy commissioner Muhammad Yusuf Zargar told the HT.
Protesters hurled a petrol bomb at the school. A municipal building was also targeted near Bandipora town, 40 km away from Srinagar. Several fire tenders have been put on alert after the arson attempts.
There were attempts by protesters from adjacent villages to reach the residences of the slain youth. Security forces hurled smoke teargas and swung batons to stop the marchers.
The killing of two youth in Bandipora’s Sumbal area on Sunday in the army firing fuelled Monday’s protests. “We are trying to bring situation under control. We had to impose curfew at two places in the district as preventive measure,” said Zargar.
There were reports of the widespread incidents of stone pelting between protesters and security forces in the district.The killings also paralysed normal life in Kashmir valley in the wake of separatists shutdown call. All schools, banks, petrol pumps and private offices remained closed.
Hardline Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani, who described the army’s probe order as “mere eyewash to douse anger”, has asked people to march towards the residences of two slain youth on July 3. He also called for protests after Friday prayers.
Meanwhile, the authorities have lodged an FIR against the army’s 13 Rashtryia Rifles and have asked the army to indentify the patrol party involved in the incident.
“In the next couple of days, the army will be asked to identify the patrol party. The law will take its own course,” said the Bandipora deputy commissioner.
The army has already ordered inquiry into the incident and promised to punish the guilty.