Several parts of Kashmir were rocked by clashes on Saturday, leaving two people injured, even as chief minister Mehbooba Mufti sought to control the situation by visiting the area and assuring justice to families of five people killed in firing by security forces since Tuesday.
Curfew-like restrictions continued in several parts of Kashmir and mobile internet services were snapped throughout the Valley.
A spokesperson said Mehbooba met the victims’ families to offer her condolences and interacted with locals over the matter. “Speaking on the occasion, Mehbooba Mufti made it clear that no civilian should come in the harms’ way while dealing with law-and-order situations,” the spokesperson added.
The mother of a girl allegedly molested by a soldier in Handwara town, the incident that triggered the violent protests in the Valley, on Saturday approached the state high court maintaining that her daughter was being held in “unlawful confinement” by the state police.
The Jammu and Kashmir high court asked police to cite the law under which they have detained the 16-year-old girl.
Two youth sustained injuries when security forces fired pellet guns to disperse stone-pelting protestors in Trehgam area of Kupwara district, a police officer said.
Authorities had imposed restrictions in Kupwara district and several areas of Srinagar after a 19-year-old school boy died on Friday in fresh firing by security forces during a protest.
Despite the restrictions, widespread protests were held across north Kashmir. In Bandipora, angry protesters set ablaze a police post. A police official said the post was empty when it was set on fire.
Mufti was accompanied by deputy chief minister Nirmal Singh.
The chief minister said the state government would ensure that anybody found guilty of having violated the standard operating procedure (SOP) during Tuesday’s incident would face the law.
“I had wanted to visit Kupwara with a special economic package, but it is unfortunate that I had to come to console the bereaved families,” Mufti said.
She also promised ex-gratia relief to the next of kin of the slain youth.
“The central government is concerned over the loss of human lives in J&K during the last four days. It was decided to send additional Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) to strengthen the security grid in the Kashmir Valley,” a home ministry statement said.
The statement said the ministry has assured “full cooperation and support to the government of J&K to ensure that there is no further loss of lives”.
With inputs from agencies