Kashmir curfew continues for fourth day
Srinagar, July 12 (IANS) Curfew continued for the fourth consecutive day on Tuesday in most parts of the Kashmir Valley to prevent widespread violence.
“Strict curfew shall continue in Anantnag, Shopian, Kulgam, Pulwama districts in south and Baramulla, Sopore, Kupwara, Ganderbal and Bandipora towns in the north,” a senior police official told IANS here.
“Curfew will also continue in the two central districts of Srinagar and Badgam.”
Unabated violence continued on Monday as angry mobs clashed with the security forces and torched police posts and pickets.
Since violence started here on Saturday following the death of top Hizbul Mujahideen commander, Burhan Wani, 22, who was killed in a gunfight on Friday along with two of his associates, 30 people including 29 civilian protesters and a policeman have died.
“Of these, 14 people died in Anantnag, eight in Kulgam, four in Shopian, three in Pulwama and one in Srinagar district,” the official confirmed.
Twelve paramilitary central reserve police force (CRPF) troopers were injured on Monday evening when someone from a stone pelting crowd hurled a grenade at the forces in Srinagar’s Nowhatta area.
Intelligence agencies said this was a dangerous development.
“Militants using stone pelting mobs as cover is a serious development. This would blur the distinction between civilian protesters and militants,” said a senior intelligence official.
Forty weapons including AK-47 rifles, INSAS rifles, one light machine gun and dozens of magazines and hundreds of rounds of ammunition were looted by angry mobs during the destruction of four police stations in south Kashmir on Saturday and Sunday.
So far, over 1,000 people including civilians and security personnel have been injured in the clashes.
“Of these, 500 were discharged after first aid while the rest were admitted to hospitals for treatment,” a health department official said.
Police said that there were over 500 clashes between mobs and the security forces at different places during the last four days.
Separatists have extended the protest shutdown in the Valley until Wednesday.
All business and other routine activities of life have been completely paralysed.
Both mobile internet facility and cell phone operations in south Kashmir’s Shopian, Anantnag, Kulgam and Pulwama districts remain suspended.
The Amaranth Yatra resumed on Monday after remaining suspended for two days.
Three hundred vehicles carrying pilgrims entered Kashmir on Monday night.
“All the Yatris have safety reached the Baltal base camp and are now proceed ing towards the cave shrine in regulated batches,” said an official of the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB) that manages the affairs of the annual pilgrimage.