Three dead in clashes in Kashmir; Amarnath yatra suspended
Srinagar : Three persons were killed and 50 injured in clashes in Kashmir between security forces and violent mobs who set ablaze five buildings including three police installations and some vehicles to protest the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen poster boy Burhan Wani in an encounter.
Curfew-like restrictions were imposed in many parts of Kashmir where mobile internet services were suspended across the valley and mobile telephony services restricted in south Kashmir, the epicentre of the trouble.
In view of the volatile situation, Amarnath yatra has also been suspended from Jammu base camp with no fresh pilgrims allowed to proceed towards the Valley today.
Burhan’s funeral in Tral town was attended by thousands of people while violent protests were reported from a number of places from Khadinyar in north Kashmir to Kulgam in south, a day after the militant commander was killed.
A 25-year-old youth, Amir Bashir, was hit by a bullet allegedly fired by security forces on protestors in Verinag area of Anantnag district in south Kashmir, a police official said.
The youth was shifted to a hospital but he succumbed to injuries on the way, he said.
Another youth was reportedly killed in similar circumstances in Qaimoh area late last night. Zubair Ahmad had multiple bullet injuries in his chest, a doctor at the Anantnag district hospital said on condition of anonymity.
A 16-year-old youth identified as Saqib Manzoor was declared “brought dead” by doctors at SMHS hospital where he was taken by some people with critical injuries sustained due to use of firearms, a police official said.
Besides these three deaths, there were unconfirmed reports that a youth drowned in a river at Ganeshpora as security forces chased a group of protestors. Police did not confirm the incident.
Police said over 30 other youth were injured in action by the security forces against the violent mobs at several places across the valley. However, sources in various hospitals of the city put the number of injured persons at around 50.
Condition of the two of the injured was stated to be critical.
The protestors indulged in widespread violence and arson. They attacked police posts at several places and also damaged the office of the BJP in Kulgam area, police said.
The mobs set on fire police stations at Achabal and Damhal Hanjipora while a police post at Kund in Qazigung was also set ablaze.
Two government offices were set on fire by protestors in Tral town of Pulwama district as well while three buses were also set on fire at Qazigund.
Groups of youth attacked police posts and police stations by pelting stones at several places including Bandipora, Qazigund and Larnoo in Anantnag district, Mir Bazaar in Kulgam district, Warpora in Sopore township of Baramulla district, the police official said.
A police picket meant for security of minority community in Vessu area of south Kashmir was also attacked, he said.
Stone pelting incidents were also reported from Sheeri, Kreeri, Delina, Pattan and Palhalan areas of north Kashmir Baramulla district, the official said, adding Barsoo and Shariefabad in Awantipora area of south Kashmir also saw violent protests.
Minor protests were also reported from several parts of Srinagar city, he added.
Meanwhile, thousands of people joined funeral prayers of Burhan who was laid to rest this afternoon in his native village of Tral. There was no deployment of security forces in Tral and adjoining areas to avoid a confrontation with the people coming to participate in the funeral.
People from Tral town and adjoining areas arrived in droves to attend the funeral prayers, which had to be conducted four times to accommodate the massive number of mourners.
According to official estimates, more than 40,000 people took part in the last rites of the slain militant commander. Unofficial reports put the number much higher.
Burhan was laid to rest amidst ‘pro-freedom’ sloganeering with some youth waving Pakistani flags.
Funeral prayers in-absentia were offered in almost all localities of the city following a call by separatist leaders.