Srinagar, Aug 9 - Indian security forces on Sunday battled at two places in Jammu…
Jammu: Kashmir remained on the edge with three more persons, including a cop, getting killed in violence on Sunday, raising the death toll to 18, while 200 have been injured even as curfew-like restrictions and suspension of Mobile internet services continued.
In view of the unrest following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani, Amarnath Yatra also remained suspended for the second day, although some stranded pilgrims were escorted to safety. In Delhi, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh reviewed the situation in the Valley and spoke to Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, assuring her of all possible help. The state police also urged protesters not to resort to violence, saying it does not bring the right consequences, and that it would like to avoid the killing of the youth. Even as curfew-like restrictions remained in force, violence was reported from a number of places.
An 18-year-old youth Irfan Ahmad Malik was critically injured in clashes between protestors and security forces at Newa in Pulwama this morning, a police official said. Irfan was rushed to SMHS hospital here but succumbed to injuries, he said.
An unidentified person was brought to district hospital Pulwama in a critical condition but succumbed to injuries, he said, adding efforts are on to ascertain his identity. A police driver Feroz Ahmad was killed after a mob pushed his mobile bunker vehicle into river Jhelum at Sangam in Anantnag district, the official said. Efforts were on to fish out the body of the deceased cop.
In another incident, a head constable of police was shot in both legs by militants last night at his residence in Tral area of Pulwama district, the official said. Three policemen, who went missing after a large mob attacked a police station in Damhal Hanjipora yesterday, are still untraceable, state Education Minister Naeem Akhtar said.
Another youth was injured when he was hit by firearm in Pampore town on Srinagar-Jammu National Highway on Sunday.
At least six other persons were hospitalised with minor injuries at various places in south Kashmir, which as seen widespread protests following the killing of Burhan Wani in an encounter with security forces in Kokernag area on Friday. The official said four persons who were injured in the violent clashes yesterday succumbed to injuries during the night.
As per consolidated information available now, more than 200 persons including 96 security personnel were injured in the day long clashes during which the mobs set on fire three police installations, three civil administration offices, the house of a PDP MLA, several vehicles and targeted a BJP office.
The Chief Minister, while appealing for calm, has urged the Centre to reach out to the people of the state to resolve the issues confronting them through reconciliation efforts on internal as well as external front for ending the violence that has left behind a trail of death and destruction.
“The pain of Kashmiris has reached a level where the hope of peace is sure to gain substantial local support if tangible confidence building measures are taken to address the issues concerning the state and its people,” Mehbooba said in a statement issued on Saturday night.
She said the people of Jammu and Kashmir, irrespective of their age, gender, status or the political affiliation, have been suffering the terrible consequences of the pernicious turmoil over the last more than two decades.
“They now want peace and stability to take roots, and even within the prevailing circumstances there lies an opportunity to consolidate the peace efforts, if substantial steps are taken in the right direction to positively impact the ground situation,” she said.
Seeking people’s cooperation in stabilising peace, she said the government is responsive to the people’s needs and concerned about their problems and is working judiciously and in a transparent manner to fulfil their aspirations and expectations.
While reacting to the civilian deaths in security forces’ firing yesterday, Mehbooba had asked security forces to follow the standard operating procedures for crowd control and avoid disproportionate use of force. Urging for calm, Mehbooba sought people’s cooperation in restoration of normalcy in the Valley. Violence only brings miseries to the people and tragedies for the victim families, she said.
The Chief Minister appealed to the people, especially the youth not to fall prey to the machinations of the vested interests, who play politics over the bodies of Kashmiris.
Normal life remained paralysed across Kashmir due to strike called by separatist groups to protest the civilian killings even as curfew-like restrictions continued in parts of the valley as a precautionary measure for the second day.
Mobile internet services across Kashmir remained suspended for the second day while mobile telephony was also snapped in south Kashmir areas.
The internal communication of the Police department has been badly affected as the wireless communication system, damaged during the 2014 floods, has not been fully restored, a police official said on condition of anonymity.
“We were using mobile telephones for communication but that is not working at the moment,” he added.
The separatist leaders including Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq continue to be under house arrest while Mohammad Yasin Malik is also under preventive detention.