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Kashmir singes as another youth dies in army firing

Srinagar: Kashmir is on a boil after another youth was killed and three others injured when army allegedly opened fire on the protesters at the remote Natnusa village of North Kashmir Kupwara district on Friday.

Arif Dar, a class XI student, was killed when security forces opened fire on the protesting mob outside the camp of 47 Rashtriya Rifles (RR). “Arif succumbed to his injuries in the hospital. All other injured are out of danger,” said Dr GN Lone, chief medical officer ofKupwara

With Arif’s killing, the death toll in the firing by security forces has reached five since Tuesday when protests broke out in Handwara Township over alleged molestation of a school girl by a trooper.

Police said protestors pelted stones and tried to storm into the camp of 47 RR in the village. Security forces immediately swung into action and fired on the protesters injuring four of them. They were immediately shifted to hospital where Arif succumbed to his wounds.

“Despite severe provocations the deployment on ground exercised maximum restraint. However, at Natnusa in Kupwara, the mob tried to enter the security forces’ camp and thearmy had to resort to firing in which one person lost his life,” said a police spokesman.

Police said massive violent protests rocked Handwara and Kupwara on Friday and mobs attacked police and security force establishments and deployments. “More than 40 police men and security force personnel were injured,” he said.

“The army exercised maximum restraint in spite of stone-pelting by a large crowd. Only when the mob stormed the army post, were they forced to open controlled fire in which some miscreants were injured,” Colonel NN Joshi, defence spokesman at Srinagar, told dna.

The incident occurred a day after J&K chief minister Mehbooba Mufti chaired a security meeting and passed strict directions to all security agencies to adhere to the standard operating procedure (SOP) and exercise restraint while dealing with protestors.

“I am extremely distressed as the cycle 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,” Mehbooba said. “I appeal to general public to remain vigilant and maintain calm to defeat the nefarious designs of those who want to disturb peace in the state”.

The incident came despite the strict curfew imposed by the authorities in different parts of Srinagar and North Kashmir. Protests demonstrations were held at several places post Friday prayers in Kashmir.

For the second day, the mobile Internet services were suspended in Kashmir. Strict restrictions were imposed on the people’s movement and nobody was allowed to enter the sensitive Handwara Township.

Kashmir observed the spontaneous strike on Friday against the killings. There was no call for strike though the separatists had called for protests after Friday.

Almost all the separatists have called for bandh on Saturday against the fresh killing at Natnusa village of Kupwara.
with Agencies

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