As curfew continued for the fifth day in Kashmir, a cousin of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front Chairman Yasin Malik, who was injured in police firing last month, died at a hospital in Delhi on Thursday.
The death of Yasir Rafiq Sheikh (24) took to 90 the total number of people who have died in the Valley since the current unrest started on June 11.
Sheikh was injured on August 30 when the police allegedly fired at a group playing carom outside Malik’s house in Srinagar’s Maisuma locality.
A constable was suspended amid allegations that he fired without provocation, and an inquiry was ordered. Others injured in the firing included Malik’s nephew Ishfaq Ahmad (17).
“Yasir was battling for life at Apollo hospital and breathed his last on Wednesday night,” said Malik, alleging he was killed in “cold blood”.
Elsewhere in the Valley, five suspected Hizbul Mujahideen militants were killed by security forces in Pulwama district, 35 km south of Srinagar. In Srinagar, five CRPF personnel were injured when their vehicle crashed in the city’s outskirts.
Protests also took place in the northern town of Baramulla and old Sopore town, 55 km north of Srinagar.
The army on Thursday appealed to people not to heed hardline Hurriyat Conference leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s call to march towards army camps on September 21.
“In the last three months and five days of unrest, the army was never involved in any confrontations with people, except for two days,’’ said army spokesperson Col J.S. Brar.
“The march is a deliberate attempt to embroil the army in the ongoing agitation and distract it from its main role.”
But Geelani said he did not want any violence. “We have called for peaceful protests to remind the army that they should leave Kashmir and stop human rights violations.”