Kashmir unrest: Two more civilian killed by security forces in Shopian; death toll at 77

JAMMU: Two youths were today killed during clashes between security forces and protesters in south Kashmir, taking the death toll in the ongoing unrest in the Valley to 75. Sayar Ahmad Sheikh was hit by a tear smoke shell in the head at Tukroo when security personnel were trying to disperse a group of stone-pelting protestors, a police official said.

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Restrictions are in place in the area under Section 144 of CrPC, which prohibits assembly of four or more people.

The official said Sheikh was rushed to the sub-district hospital at Rajpora where doctors declared him brought dead.

Another youth, Yawar Bhat, died in security forces’ action after protestors indulged in stone pelting at Botengoo in Anantnag district, the official said. Bhat sustained pellet injuries during the clashes, he said.

Several other persons were injured in the two incidents. Clashes were also reported from the old city area and Budgam district, where at least a dozen people have been injured, he said.

The situation across the Valley continues to be tense, he added. While, the family claims he had been beaten to death by the CRPF men on Friday, the police claimed that he was injured in a road accident.

“I am told that a youth has died in stone pelting in Shopian, I feel very upset about it,” said CM Mehbooba Mufti.

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I am told that a youth has died in stone pelting in Shopian (J&K), I feel very upset about it: J&K CM Mehbooba Mufti
1:25 PM – 10 Sep 2016
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The Army was deployed in rural areas of four South Kashmir districts of Pulwama, Shopian, Kulgam and Anantnag today. These areas witnessed maximum deaths during the Kashmir unrest.

After 63 days of unrest, Indian army is now playing a greater role to augment the existing security forces to quell protests in Kashmir Valley.

Peace in South Kashmir, which has emerged as the epicentre of 2016 unrest, is the first on the list of the security forces. Troops, according to sources will be providing all kinds of support and collaboration to police and paramilitary forces in quelling the unrest. “Gen Dalbir reinforced the need to synergise efforts with all other stakeholders and assured full support for bringing in normalcy, particularly in South Kashmir,” said Colonel Joshi

Sources said army troops would be fully backing the law and order component and dominate the areas to keep the militants at bay. Sources said since there have been reports of militants stoking fire, it has been felt that they need to be isolated so that crowd control measures are implemented fast and effectively.

Sources said new strategy of the security forces will be multi-fold to bring peace and normalcy at the earliest. Trouble spots are being re-identified and new dynamic strategy adopted to quell the unrest in accordance with the local needs. “There will be no uniform strategy. We shall form the strategy which will be dynamic because causes of unrest in different areas vary. So the strategy will also vary according to needs,” said a top officer.

Insiders said more security forces are being inducted to secure the roads and highways besides create an atmosphere of belonging in the hinterland.

The Army chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag had arrived here yesterday to take stock of the situation in the Valley which has been simmering since the killing of Hizbul Mujhadeen militant commander Burhan Wani on July 8.

The Valley which has been simmering since the killing of Hizbul Mujhadeen militant commander Burhan Wani on July 8.