Protests and killings continued on Tuesday in Kashmir, killing three more persons in CRPF and state police firing in Anantnag district.
"I condole the deaths and feel a great amount of sympathy for those who have lost their lives. It's unfortunate the emotional youth are being exploited,” said Chief Minister Omar Abdullah at a press conference. "This is not a simple law and order problem. It's a battle of ideas and ideologies in which various anti-national forces have come together to create trouble."
Hours after Abdullah's press briefing, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram "endorsed every word" the CM said.
Chidambaram said the incidents were "deeply regrettable", reiterated his instructions to the Central Reserve Police Force to exercise maximum restraint in handling rioters but also sent a clear signal that the CRPF — targeted by the state Law Minister Ali Mohammed Sagar — appeared to be in the clear.
The Valley remained tense throughout the day.
A statement released by the government said three persons died and 16 were injured in various incidents in the district.
Tuesday’s incident takes the number of civilian deaths to 11 in the past 15 days.
In Anantnag town, 54 km south of Srinagar, locals assembled at a bus stand to protest against Monday’s killings on Monday in the twin towns of Sopore and Baramulla. The forces deployed in the town initially cane-charged the crowd and later opened fire, killing two on the spot. Two were injured and one died on his way to the hospital.
"A (pitched) battle was on in Anantnag since morning but later in the day the mob got violent and tried to overpower the police, who were forced to open fire. Two youths died and two were seriously injured," said Inspector General (Kashmir range) Farooq Ahmad.
With inputs from New Delhi