One killed, 22 hurt in Kashmir clashes

IANS | By, Srinagar
Jan 19, 2008 11:03 PM IST

At least 15 people were wounded on Saturday evening in sectarian clashes in Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir.

At least 15 people were wounded on Saturday evening in sectarian clashes in this Jammu and Kashmir summer capital, even as one person was killed and five injured in clashes between two Shia groups in Budgam district in central Kashmir.

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Police used teargas and resorted to baton charge to break a violent Shia-Sunni clash at Hawal in old Srinagar city late in the evening.

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A senior police officer said a group of Sunni Muslims resorted to stone pelting on a Shia procession near Gojiwara locality in Srinagar, prompting police intervention to prevent trouble from spreading to the nearby sensitive Shia majority Zadibal locality.

Tension gripped the area and authorities rushed police and paramilitary reinforcements.

Senior police officers were making efforts to diffuse the tension, ahead of the main Ashoora procession on Sunday morning.

Security was beefed up in the Shia majority areas and in all sensitive localities from where the annual Muharram processions will pass on Sunday.

"The situation is now under control, but tension is high. Our effort is to avoid trouble during the night, so that the main procession begins as scheduled tomorrow. We are now trying to involve elders from both communities to diffuse tension," said a senior police officer.

He said, "All the injured are undergoing treatment in various hospitals."

Meanwhile, a report from Budgam district in the centre of the Kashmir valley said one person, identified as Ghulam Rasool Mir, was killed and five were wounded when two groups of Shia Muslims clashed in Sabden village on Saturday evening.

"All the injured were referred by attending doctors to Srinagar for specialised treatment," a senior police officer said.

Police intervened to separate the clashing groups. There was tension in the village, and officials in Srinagar said police reinforcements were rushed to the affected area.

Meanwhile, two boys were wounded, when paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) troopers allegedly opened fire at a group of youth in Chersoo village in Pulwama district of south Kashmir on Saturday evening. The injured were taken to the hospital.

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