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Kashmir Killings: Six more die in Kashmir frenzy, death toll 21

The government said it was also trying to arrange flights to fly out the thousands of tourists stranded in the valley due to the violence

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Srinagar: Protesters throwing stones on police vehicle during a protest following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Muzaffar Wani along with his two associates, in Srinagar on Saturday. PTI Photo by S Irfan (PTI7_9_2016_000126B)
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  • Fresh firing by security forces in Pulwama district of north Kashmir led to the death of Faiyaz Ahmed Mir
  • Shabir Ahmed, 27, was shot and wounded by security forces during a street protest Irfan
  • Ahmad Malik, 17, was also killed on Sunday in firing in Pulwama after a curfew-defying mob attacked the security forces

The Jammu and Kashmir government appealed for calm on Sunday, July 10, as six more people died in unending demonstrations against the killing of a top militant leader, taking the death toll to 21 in two days in curfew-bound Kashmir Valley.

Shabir Ahmed, 27, was shot and wounded by security forces during a street protest here and died in hospital, becoming the first to be killed outside of north Kashmir since the anti-government protests erupted on Saturday, July 9.

The incident took place in Batmaloo, a known separatist hub.

Fresh firing by security forces in Pulwama district of north Kashmir led to the death of Faiyaz Ahmed Mir. Elsewhere in Pulwama, four CRPF troopers were wounded when militants hurled grenades taking advantage of a street protest.

Four other deaths were reported earlier in the day.

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A mob overran a bullet-proof police vehicle and rolled it down into the Sutlej river at Sangam in Anantnag district, drowning its constable driver while other policemen fled the scene, official sources said.

Security forces shot dead two demonstrators at Litter in Pulwama after a mob took to the streets shouting anti-government and pro-freedom slogans, the sources said.

Irfan Ahmad Malik, 17, was also killed on Sunday in firing in Pulwama after a curfew-defying mob attacked the security forces, a police official said.

The latest fatalities took the death toll in two days of widespread clashes between protesters and security forces in the Kashmir Valley to 21-20 demonstrators and one policeman.

Kashmir Valley erupted in anger on Saturday after security forces shot dead Burhan Wani, a top leader of the Hizbul Mujahideen, along with two of his associates on Friday. His funeral was attended by thousands.

Burhan, Hizbul Mujahidin. Image source:indianexpress.com
Burhan, Hizbul Mujahidin. Image source:indianexpress.com

Most protests have taken place in the northern districts of Anantnag, Pulwama, Kulgam and Shopian. Wani hailed from Pulwama. In most places mobs have attacked police and paramilitary forces with stones, leading to tear-gassing and firing.

Taking advantage of the outnumbered security personnel, demonstrators on Sunday set fire to the Sub Divisional Police Officer’s office in Pahalgam, a court complex in Dooru and a police post in Qazigund in Kulgam.

On Saturday, July 9, mobs torched four police stations, two police pickets and a tehsildar’s office. There were two incidents of weapon snatching and torching of several vehicles of security forces.

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Senior officials said three policemen were missing following the violence and nearly 100 security personnel were injured in the street clashes which have crippled the Kashmir Valley and halted the Amarnath Yatra.

On Sunday, the Jammu and Kashmir government urged parents of young demonstrators to tell their wards not to take part in protests that were leading to civilian casualties.

Education Minister and government spokesman Naeem Akhtar also urged the separatist Hurriyat Conference to help restore calm in the Kashmir Valley, where a separatist campaign has left many thousands dead since 1989.

The government said it was also trying to arrange flights to fly out the thousands of tourists stranded in the valley due to the violence.

In New Delhi, union Home Minister Rajnath Singh spoke to Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, offering all possible help from New Delhi.

Senior officials expressed the hope that the situation in Kashmir would return to normal soon.

Four demonstrators, Imtiyaz Ahmad Mandoo, Mashooq Ahmad and Safeer Ahmad (all from Anantnag) and Mohammmad Altaf Rather (Pulwama) who were wounded on Saturday died on Sunday. Eleven people were killed on Saturday.

At least 100 protesters were injured on Saturday. They suffered bullet, tear smoke and pellet injuries.

Wani was buried in his native Shariefabad village on Saturday where thousands gathered defying curfew restrictions to take part in his funeral prayers.

The separatists have called for a valley-wide shut down till Monday to protest against Wani’s killing. (IANS)

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  • Aparna Gupta

    Kashmir is suffering from violence. The violence arouse after death of Burhan but now they should stop it and maintain peace in the region.

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“Increased Army Will Achieve Nothing” Says J&K CM

In J&K increased security is of no use

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"Increased Army Will Achieve Nothing" Says J&K CM, Flickr

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Sunday said the trend of more youths joining army will achieve nothing except increased footprints of the security forces in the state.

Addressing a convention of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) here, Mehbooba reacted to reports of more young people joining militant ranks.

“The increase in the number of youths picking up the gun will increase the presence of Army, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and the police.

military men
Military men, Pixabay

“More the situation improves, the more we can ask the Army, the CRPF and the police to reduce their footprints (in Kashmir)”, the Chief Minister said.

Condemning the recent grenade attacks by militants in the Valley, she said: “Despite ceasefire, there are grenade attacks. They do not see that civilians are getting killed, they do not see that Army or CRPF jawans have come from far flung areas for their bread and butter. What will this achieve?

“There have been thousands of grenade attacks till now, thousands have picked up guns and become militants, but what has been achieved?” she asked.

She said through peaceful means the People’s Democratic Party had been able to persuade the opening of the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad and Poonch-Rawalkote roads.

Indian para commandos
Indian para commandos, Representational image, (Wikimedia Commons)

“If the situation improves, I promise you that we will open more such routes.”

Mehbooba made a fervent appeal to Kashmiri separatists to come forward for talks and save the state from further bloodshed and reminded them that the announcement of ceasefire by the Indian government was a step that cannot be expected always.

She said the problem can only be resolved thorough dialogue.

“This time there is an offer of dialogue from the Centre. I request all stakeholders to come forward to save Kashmir.”

Mehbooba said it was for the separatists to decide whether the youths of Kashmir should come out of the culture of stones and guns.

Also read: Pakistan army violates ceasefire at LOC in Rajouri

She also appealed to New Delhi and Islamabad to start the dialogue process in order to improve the situation since Jammu and Kashmir bears the brunt of strained relations between the two countries. (IANS)