In Kashmir, three young men were killed, and around 150 people were injured as fast-spreading protests and clashes convulsed large parts of the Kashmir Valley, and the Muslim belts of the Jammu region where Internet was blocked again on Friday. The fresh incidence of violence in Kashmir, incidentally, comes on a day when the Union Government gave assurance to the Supreme Court that law and order was returning towards normalcy in the valley.
The deceased in today’s attack have been identified as 23-year-old Zahoor Ahmed and 27-year-old Mohammad Maqbool.
Anti-government rallies were taken out in around 45 places in the Valley’s 10 districts after Friday prayers. Two civilians were killed in central Kashmir’s Budgam district, indicating a further escalation as the deaths took place in a relatively less volatile district.
One student was killed in Baramulla’s Sopore area in clashes.
In another incident, three youth were critically injured in action by security forces against violent mob at Khansahib area of Budgam district, the official said.
He said the injured were taken to SMHS hospital here where one of them was declared “brought dead” by the doctors.
The death of the youth led to protests within the hospital and some youth started pelting stones on the nearby Karan Nagar police station.
The death toll (in the region) has risen to fifty-five (55) since the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in an operation on July 8 (2016), that triggered a massive public backlash.
Police sources said fierce clashes broke out in south Kashmir’s volatile districts of Shopian, Anantnag, Kulgam and Pulwama, leaving scores of protesters injured.
In north Kashmir’s Kupwara and Baramulla districts, medical emergencies were declared in hospitals to manage the rush of injured protesters. Scores were wounded in Bandipora and Ganderbal districts after rallies turned violent when the security forces disallowed the marches.
Srinagar’s Shri Maharaja Hari Singh hospital confirmed receiving protesters who sustained pellet and bullet injuries. The hospital also witnessed clashes as the dead were being ferried to their respective areas.
According to official figures, more than 4,600 people, including security personnel, have been injured in the ongoing unrest in Kashmir.
In Srinagar, separatist leaders Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Syed Ali Geelani were arrested in an attempt to foil their march towards the Hazratbal Shrine.
Curfew has been imposed in the entire Srinagar district – also in Ganderbal, Budgam, Anantnag town, Awantipora, Kulgam town, Baramulla district excluding Sopore, Shopian town, Kaloosa in Bandipora and parts of Handwara, a police official said.
He said restrictions were also clamped on assembly of four or more persons in rest of the Valley as a precautionary measure to maintain law and order.
References The Hindu: 3 killed, 150 injured in Kashmir clashes, and India.com: Kashmir unrest: Fresh firing in Budgam – 3 dead, over 150 injured, and Indian Express: Violence continues to rage in Kashmir, three more killed taking death toll to 53.