3 killed in Valley even as Army patrols streets

SRINAGAR: Kashmir continued to remain on the boil with the killing of three more protesters on Friday, even as hundreds of Army troopers patrolled streets — for the second time this summer — to prevent protests. The move to deploy the Army came as the situation seemed to have spiralled out of control with the killing of 17 people in the deadliest day of violence on Monday and the separatists plan to march to security installations on September 21. The state government had taken a lot of flak for its earlier decision to call in the Army to march Srinagar streets — for the first time in two decades — as a symbolic show of force in July. The protesters didn’t confront soldiers then, but that wasn’t so this time.

A protester, Fayaz Ahmad Dar, was killed and three others wounded when the Army troopers fired at protesters at Chorpora in central Budgam district. Dar was declared brought dead at Srinagar’s SKIMS hospital. Officials said the troopers fired after the protesters defied curfew and stoned them. The residents, however, refuted Army’s version, saying the troopers stopped the protesters and opened unprovoked fire on them.

Hours later, another protester, Ghulam Rasool Bhat, was killed after the Army fired at protesters at Tapper near Srinagar after they defied curfew. In a similar incident one Imtiyaz Ahmad (22) was killed when security forces fired at protesters at Shopian in south Kashmir. The toll from security forces firing on protesters mounted to 93 with the Friday’s killings. Residents alleged the troopers of ransacking their houses. Clashes were also reported from Chachilora in Tangmarg, where one person was injured. Eight people were injured when security forces fired at protesters, who defied curfew and stoned cops at Churpora in Budgam.

Elsewhere, hundreds of security personnel, carrying automatic rifles, erected barricades to enforce a strict round-the-clock curfew for the fifth day. The curfew foiled hardline Hurriyat factions call for marches to Palhallan, Humhama and Pampore to express solidarity with the people killed there.

Residents complained of shortage of medicines, baby food and other essential commodities due to restrictions on their movement.

Meanwhile, moderate Hurriyat leader, Mirwaz Umar Farooq, accused the “agencies” of sabotaging the agitation. “Agencies are working hard to sabotage the movement and as part of that plan set ablaze (government) buildings and a missionary school in Tangmarg,” he said. The Mirwaiz asked the people to be wary of these elements and not allow them to succeed. “Our movement is for a just and noble cause and hence there is no scope for any kind of violence in it,” he said – Timesofindia