Srinagar: Volatile situation prevailed in Kashmir on Friday with one more youth getting killed and 47 others, including over 40 security personnel, being injured in clashes which rocked many parts of the valley, spreading beyond Kupwara, the epicentre of the four-day unrest.
18-year-old Arif Hussain Dar was killed while three others sustained bullet injuries when army opened fire to disperse stone-pelting mobs outside a camp in Nathnusa area of Kupwara, 100 kms from Srinagar, a police official said.
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti expressed deep anguish over the death and appealed to the general public to remain vigilant against nefarious designs of elements who want to disturb peace in the state.
The local residents were protesting against the killing of four persons — three in Handwara on Tuesday and one in Drugmulla on Wednesday — in action by security forces against protestors who were demonstrating against alleged molestation of a girl.
The three injured persons were referred to SMHS hospital for specialised treatment, the official said.
An army official said the forces opened fire only after the mobs tried to storm the camp.
"A group of protesters were pelting stones at the (army) camp but the soldiers exercised restraint. However, the situation started going out of hand as a large number of them tried to storm the camp from all directions," he said.
With Friday's casualty, the death toll has risen to five in the unrest that began on Tuesday following allegations of molestation of a girl in Handwara.
While Kupwara district has been witnessing trouble since Tuesday, protests spread on Friday to other parts of the Valley including Sopore town in Baramulla district, Tral in Pulwama district, Bijbehara in Anantnag district, Srinagar city and Kangan area in Ganderbal district.
Zachaldara, Kralgund, Kralpora, Mir Mohalla, Drugmulla and Magam were the other areas in Kupwara district where violent protests were witnessed.
Two civilians were injured in action by security forces in Heeri area of Trehgam and Kupwara town during the protests.
Showkat Ahmad Ganai was hit by a teargas shell in the head at Heeri and has been referred to a hospital here while Sajad Ahmad Bhat of Poshpora sustained bullet injury in the leg in Kupwara town during protests, the official said.
A police spokesman said over 40 of its personnel had been injured in the clashes.
Among the cops, one sustained injuries after being hit by a stone at Magam while a Head Constable of Jammu and Kashmir police was injured in clashes in Kangan town.
In Sopore, a small group of 40 people indulged in stone-pelting after Friday prayers, a police official said.
In Tral town, the protestors pelted stones on a CRPF camp but they were chased away, the official said.
Incidents of stone-pelting were reported from Goriwan in Bijbehara area of Anantnag district as well, he added.
An official spokesman said the Chief Minister has expressed deep anguish over the "unfortunate death" of a youth at Natnusa in Kupwara district on Friday.
Sharing the grief of the victim s family over the inconsolable loss, Mehbooba said, "she is extremely distressed as the circle of violence has consumed yet-another life of a young boy. My heart goes out to the bereaved family of the boy who died in the prime of his youth."
The Chief Minister appealed to general public to remain vigilant and maintain calm to defeat the nefarious designs of those who want to disturb peace in the state.
Separatist groups including JKLF and Hurriyat Conference led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq tried to stage separate protest demonstrations against the killings in Srinagar but their attempts were scuttled by the police and several of their activists were detained.
Mirwaiz and chairman of hardline Hurriyat Conference Syed Ali Shah Geelani are under house detention while and JKLF chief Mohammad Yasin Malik is in preventive custody.
Separatist groups including hardline Hurriyat Conference have called for a shutdown tomorrow to protest against the fresh deaths.
Kashmir University has announced postponing of all examinations scheduled for Saturday.
A spokesman of the varsity said fresh dates for these examinations would be notified later.