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35 injured in Kashmir violence

Srinagar, July 9 (Calcutta Tube) At least 35 people, including 20 policemen, were injured as mobs pelted stones at the security forces in Jammu and Kashmir after the Friday prayers. The authorities later in the day relaxed the curfew throughout the Valley to enable the people observe the Shab-e-Meraj religious festival.

Police said a mob assembled after the Friday prayers in south Kashmir’s Kakpora town and resorted to heavy stone pelting at the security forces.

‘The mob attacked the local police station and attempted to torch it after the Friday prayers there. Security forces used tear smoke shells and fired warning shots in the air to disperse the protesters,’ a senior police officer said.

‘One deputy commandant of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and around a dozen local policemen and CRPF jawans (troopers) were injured in the incident,’ the officer said.

Police said in north Kashmir’s Baramulla town, an angry mob resorted to heavy stone pelting.

‘Around 10 policemen, including an officer, were injured in the mob fury,’ a police officer said.

‘Police used batons and fired warning shots to disperse the mob,’ he added.

Reports reaching here said one youth pelting stones at the security men suffered a rubber bullet injury in the abdomen.

‘The youth was shifted to Srinagar for treatment where doctors said his condition was out of danger,’ hospital sources told IANS.

Youth also resorted to violence in the Hazratbal area of the city prompting security men to use batons and tear smoke shells to disperse the violent protesters.

‘Some youth resorted to stone pelting in the area after which the curfew was reimposed there,’ the officer said.

Meanwhile, curfew was relaxed indefinitely in all parts of the Kashmir Valley Friday evening, an official said.

The head cleric of Srinagar had Friday appealed to the state government to relax the curfew so that people could observe the Shab-e-Meraj religious festival.

Mufti Azaam Bashir-ud-Din also appealed to the people to perform their religious duties connected with Shab-e-Meraj (anniversary of the night-time ascension of Prophet to heaven from Jerusalem and marked by visits to graves of family and friends to pray for their souls) peacefully.

Chief Minister Omar Abdullah chaired a security meeting here in which the situation was reviewed with the objective of relaxing curfew restrictions here.

Two policemen were earlier injured in two separate attacks by militants in Jammu and Kashmir’s Sopore town, while an indefinite curfew continued in Srinagar and other major towns of the Kashmir Valley.

‘Militants fired at the State Bank of India building in Sopore town late Thursday, injuring one policeman. In another incident, militants fired at a police vehicle in the same town early Friday and the driver was hurt,’ a senior police officer said.

‘Both the injured policemen have been shifted to hospital and doctors say they are out of danger,’ he added.

Curfew continued for the third day in all areas of Srinagar city, Sopore, Ganderbal, Handwara and south Kashmir’s Anantnag, Pulwama, Kakpora and some towns along the Jammu-Srinagar highway.

Chief Minister Abdullah has convened an all-party meeting here Monday to discuss the situation in the state.

The authorities issued fresh curfew passes to the local media persons to enable them discharge their professional duties here.

Because of the cancellation of all previously issued curfew passes, the local media persons could not discharge their professional duties and the publication of all the newspapers had been stopped by their managements for the last two days.

The army was requisitioned by the civil administration for assistance here Wednesday, a day after widespread violence in the city following the recovery of a teenager’s body. The victim’s relatives allege that he had been forcibly drowned by security forces during clashes.

Three more people, including a 25-year old woman, were killed in Tuesday’s violence. The army carried out flag marches at many places in the city in the last two days here.

However, no flag march was carried out anywhere in Srinagar by the army Friday.

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