Curfew, separatist shutdown cripple Kashmir for 30th day
The curfew and separatist-called shutdown in Kashmir entered its thirtieth day on Sunday with the Valley remaining tense a day after at least 70 people were injured, one of them critically, in clashes with security forces.
More than 56 people have died and at least 5,000 injured in month-long unrest following the July 8 encounter death of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in south Kashmir.
As reports of clashes came in from several parts of the Valley, protests erupted on Saturday in Wagoora area of Sopore in Baramulla district during the funeral of Danish Rasool, who was killed in firing a day earlier.
Protesters torched an abandoned police post and threw stones at security men who fired tear gas shells, reports said.
With five civilians dead, the week has been turbulent, pushing the region back on the edge just when it was limping back to normalcy.
On Friday, three civilians were killed and more than 300 injured in clashes with security forces. Earlier last week, a 21-year-old ATM guard in Srinagar was found dead with more than 350 pellets lodged in his body. Another person was killed when the security guard of an officer opened fire on protesters in Lethpora area of Pulwama.
The separatists have intensified their protests, extending the shutdown to August 12. The strike would have to be observed sundown as well on every second day, said the separatists, who had allowed businesses to open after 6pm. The shutdown has been on since July 9.
The separatists also asked people to “assemble and occupy local chowks and centres from Asar to Magrib (afternoon to evening)”.
They have called on the locals to lay siege to civil secretariat and other offices in Srinagar on Monday and not allow employees to get to work. The plan, said sources, could lead to a law and order situation in Srinagar.
The protest calendar also spelt out schedule for demonstrations by women and playing of Islamic and pro-independence songs in mosques.
People have been asked to carry out a cleanliness drive on Sunday.
The army on Saturday foiled an infiltration bid near the line of control in Naugam sector in north Kashmir, killing a militant.
Arms and ammunition were seized from the encounter site.