One killed, 40 injured in Kashmir firing
Security forces opened fire and lobbed tear gas shells after curfew clamped in the entire valley was defied by protestors at many places.india Updated: Aug 24, 2008 21:03 IST
In fresh violence, one person was killed and 40 injured when security forces opened fire and lobbed tear gas shells after curfew clamped in the entire Kashmir valley on Sunday was defied by protestors at several places.
Appealing for calm, authorities braced for the rally called by separatists at Srinagar's Lal Chowk on Monday and curfew imposed in all the 10 districts of the Kashmir Valley for the second time in a week as a precautionary measure.
Several separatist leaders were put under house arrest ahead of the rally to protest against what they called the "failure" of the Centre to resolve the Kashmir issue. Authorities also feared there may be some threat to the lives of the separatist leaders.
Police said a man identified as Ghulam Qadir Hajjam was killed when a stray bullet hit him when protestors attempted to defy curfew. His son also sustained injuries.
The incident took place in the Dalgate area this evening when the protesters tried to storm the battalion headquarters of paramilitary forces, police said.
Security forces had to resort to firing after repeated cane charging and bursting of tear gas shells failed to disperse the mob protesting against the clamping of curfew.
A CRPF spokesman Prabhakar Tripathy said the security forces had to open fire as the father-son duo tried to attack their camp, killing one person and wounding another.
Citing "absolutely imperative" reasons, the Jammu and Kashmir government meanwhile restricted local TV channels from broadcasting news and current affairs programmes with immediate effect on the eve of separatists' rally.
In the police crackdown on separatists leaders on the eve of their rally, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mohammad Yasin Malik were put under house arrest.
Regarding the ban imposed on some programmes of local channels, an official statement said "the situation was carefully assessed by the administration and it was felt that it had become absolutely imperative to take action under law against these channels in larger public interest and for maintenance of public order".
Accusing the managements of local channels of not complying with the administrations earlier directions and notices in this regard, an official spokesperson said that now "notices had been issued to them (local channels) not to telecast any such news or any other item which could vitiate the law and order situation and inflame passions with a view to fuelling public disorder".
To register their protest against the order, the cable TV operators decided to shut down their operations till it was revoked, a spokesman of the TV channels said.
Around 20 people, including five police personnel, were injured when security forces lobbed teargas shells to disperse a stone-pelting crowd of protesters in Beerwah in Budgam district of Central kashmir, sources said.
Police also fired some warning shots and lobbed tear gas shells to disperse over 15,000 people who assembled after hearing reports of alleged desecration of a Holy Book in Handwara area of Kupwara district, sources said. An official spokesman however vehemently denied the reports saying they were "rumours" aimed at bringing people out into the streets.
In the ensuing clashes, 16 persons were injured. One sub-inspector of police was injured in Zampakadal in downtown srinagar during stone pelting by protesters.
Incidents of stone-throwing were also reported from Soura, Nawakadal, Jamalatta, Bohrikadal and Qamarwari in Srinagar city, sources said, adding three civilians were injured in the clashes.