Violence returns to Kashmir: Amid curfew, protesters and police clash in Anantnag and Shopian

Clashes broke out between protesters and security forces in Anantnag and Shopian districts of south Kashmir on Saturday even as curfew continued in many parts of the Valley and normal life remained paralysed for the 29th consecutive day.

Kashmir Curfew Srinagar

Police in action against the protesters who defied curfew and tried to march to Hazratbal Shrine at Nati Pora in Srinagar on Friday. PTI

21 people were injured in violence in Chee in Anantnag when protesters staged a rally, a police official said, adding that the security forces used various crowd control measures to disperse the protesters. Protesters pelted stones at a police post at Herpora in Shopian but there were no reports of anyone getting hurt in the incident so far, he added.

Curbs on movement of people had to be extended on Saturday in view of fresh violence in some parts of the Valley on Friday which left three persons dead and over 150 others injured, the official said.

Just as the valley was limping back to normalcy, on Friday, fresh violence broke out taking the death toll to 54 while over 6,000 people have been injured in the recent bout of violence, following the death of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani on 8 July.

Apprising the press of the situation, a police officer said, "Curfew remains in force in six police station areas of Srinagar — Nowhatta, Khanyar, Rainawari, Safakadal, Maharajgunj and Batamaloo — as a precautionary measure to maintain law and order," a police official said.

He said curfew was also in force in four towns of Budgam district — Chadoora, Khansahib, Magam and Budgam , Anantnag town and Khanpora area of Baramulla district.

"Restrictions on assembly of four or more people continue to remain in effect in rest of the Valley," the official said. He said the curbs on movement of people had to be extended today in view of fresh violence in some parts of the Valley on Friday which left three persons dead and over 150 others injured.

Meanwhile, criticising the Centre over the continued violence, former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Omar Abdullah said the situation in the valley is "heart breaking" and "worrying." He also questioned the Prime Minister's silence on the Kashmir issue despite the administration's failed attempt to curb the violence.

Taking a dig at the Centre for claiming that the situation in the Valley was improving, Abdullah twweted out on Friday, "(one) more unfortunate death, countless injuries today & the Centre tells the Hon SC (Supreme Court) that 'things are improving'. Wow!"

The Centre had on Friday told the Supreme Court that the law and order situation in Kashmir Valley has improved considerably since the outrebrak of violence following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani on 8 July. It said the violent protests having gone down from 201 on 9 July to 11 on 3 August.

In another tweet, Omar said it was only the ruling coalition partners — PDP and BJP — who agreed with this stand.

"Seriously? By which stretch of imagination? I haven't met anyone in the Valley except the BJP-PDP ostriches who agree!" he said.

Normal life remained disrupted due to the curbs imposed by the authorities and the separatist sponsored strike. Schools, colleges, business establishments, petrol pumps banks and private offices remained closed while public transport remained off roads.

The attendance in government offices was also thin, the official said. Mobile internet services continued to remain snapped in the entire Valley where the outgoing facility on prepaid connections is barred.

The separatist camp has extended the shutdown call in Kashmir till 12 August.

With inputs from PTI

Updated Date: Aug 06, 2016 14:23 PM

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