Monday, September 6, 2010

Valley again: Four killed, five hurt in police firing

Valley again: Four killed, five hurt in police firing

Bashaarat Masood
Tags : Palhalan, Srinagar, Baramulla National Highway
Posted: Tue Sep 07 2010, 01:19 hrs

As normalcy was slowly returning to the Valley, J-K Police and paramilitary forces opened fire on a protest at Palhalan on the Srinagar-Baramulla National Highway, killing four civilians and wounding five. The police have initiated an inquiry into the killings and asked the policemen on duty to deposit their weapons to fix the responsibility. With this, the death toll has gone up to 69 since June 11 when a Class X student, Tufail Ahmad Matoo, was killed in police firing, triggering massive unrest across Kashmir valley.

After a pause in killings for five days, there was growing public pressure on separatists to relax their protest calendar before Eid (September 10). In fact, both the Omar Abdullah government and police top brass here were of the view that the cycle of killings needed to be halted.

Teenagers Feroz Ahmad Malik and Mudasir Ahmad besides Noor-ud-din Tantray, 26, and Mohammad Ramzan Mir were killed and five civilians wounded when the police opened fire on stone-throwing protesters at Palhalan in north Kashmir. According to unconfirmed reports, another teenager, Mudasir Ahmad, also succumbed to injuries. One of the wounded persons, Mohammad Ashraf, is battling for life at the Srinagar's Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS).

The protest at Palhalan had ended peacefully in the morning. However, in the afternoon, a contingent of police and paramilitary forces was deployed at the village that falls on the Srinagar-Baramulla national highway to clear the highway for a cavalcade of senior police officers. As the protesters threw stones, the policemen and CRPF men chased them. During the chase, a large group of men came out of the mosque. "The securitymen were unnerved when they saw a big crowd and opened fire," a police source said.

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