Two persons were killed and scores others injured as fresh protests and clashes broke out between irate crowds, mainly youth, and security forces in various parts of Kashmir on Friday, despite strict curfew being enforced in all the ten districts of the Valley.
One J&K policeman Mudasir Ahmed Shah was critically wounded and six others were injured when targeted with a hand grenade by suspected militants at Yari Pora in southern Kulgam district at 5.30 pm. The area also witness intense stone-pelting incidents involving curfew-defying youth, reports said. A report said that one police head-contable died in hospital later but it has been neither denied nor confirmed by officials, so far.
Official sources said that an Army helicopter was requisitioned to evacuate the injured policemen as protests were underway when the attack took place and attempts to remove them to hospital in ambulance or a police vehicle had failed.
In order to quell a stone-hurling crowd at Yaripora, police opened fire killing one protester 18-year-old Sayar Ahmed Kumar and injuring two others. Residents said that no militant attack took place and that the policemen were injured when some explosive substance they were carrying in a vehicle went off injuring those on board.
A statement issued by the police in Srinagar in the evening, however, said that policemen as well as civilians were injured when militants tossed grenades and opened indiscriminate fire on a police party which was trying to contain a violent protest at Yaripora. “Seven police personnel and three civilians received gunshot and splinter injuries. One civilian died of militant firing,” it claimed and said “The police party exercised maximum restraint and did not retaliate to avoid civilian causalities”.
Reports from frontier town of Kupwara said that security forces opened fire to disperse a group of protesters when it turned violent in Drugmulla area of the district. One of them identified as Mushtaq Ahmed Ganai was killed and three others were wounded, witnesses and hospital sources said.
Police statement said the “unruly mob” attacked an Army camp at Drugmulla and during 'tackling the mob three persons were injured and one of them succumbed later.”
14 people were injured in clashes which broke out in the towns of Sopore, Delina and Pattan in neighbouring Baramulla district. Two of them were hit in police firing and the rest sustained injuries due to the use of teargas canisters and pellet guns by security forces against stone-pelting crowds, reports said. In Srinagar, yet another youth who was critically injured in CRPF action against protesters earlier during the week died in hospital on Friday morning, raising the toll to 41. He has been identified as Hilal Ahmed Parray.
One policeman Afroz Ahmed has also been killed and hundreds other security personnel have been injured in weeklong clashes. CRPF's ADG for J&K, N. Srivastav, said that 1,000 of his men have been injured in stone pelting and other attacks across the Valley since last Saturday.
Police added that the militants targeted a joint party of J&K police and the CRPF also at Natnusa (Kupwara), injuring seven of them. In another incident, militants fired upon the personnel of police station Lolab (also in Kupwara) deployed for law and order duties as a result of which two of them were injured.
"The overall situation throughout the Valley remained under control, although incidents of stone pelting and attacks on security force establishments were reported,” the police statement said. Police claimed, “At many places, militants took shelter and mingled with protesters and then attacked police and CRPF personnel deployed for law and order duties”.