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Srinagar simmers after man dies in firing

Srinagar, July 6 (Calcutta Tube) Fresh violence erupted in Srinagar after a 30-year-old man died of a bullet injury in a clash with security forces Tuesday, the latest in a series of civilian deaths that have triggered an unbroken cycle of violent protests in the Kashmir Valley.

Fayaz Ahmad Wani, a government employee, was killed and two people were injured when security forces opened fire to disperse a mob protesting the drowning of a teenager after he was chased by troopers Monday.

The Monday tragedy led to Tuesday’s death — and more agony.

‘Wani sustained a bullet injury in the neck and succumbed to injuries in a hospital. Two other persons injured in the incident are being treated,’ a police officer said.

The police and paramilitary forces, struggling to control protests over the drowning of 17-year-old Muzaffar Ahmad, opened fire as hundreds in Batamaloo in the west of the city took to the streets Tuesday after police fished out the teenager’s body from a stream.

Some protestors attacked the security forces with stones.

Bhat’s family and neighbours said he had jumped into the stream Monday when the paramilitary Central Reserve Police Forces (CRPF) personnel were chasing a group of demonstrators protesting against the visit of Minister of State for Housing Nasir Aslam Wani to the area.

Hundreds of mourners carrying the two bodies later tried to march towards Eidgah grounds in Old Srinagar to bury them in a common graveyard where thousands, killed in the ongoing 20-year-old separatist war, are buried.

Fearing the march may ignite more violent protests, the security forces used canes and tear smoke to stop the procession. They took away the two bodies for an autopsy in a police hospital.

The bodies were later handed over to their families and asked to bury them in a local graveyard in Batamallo.

CRPF personnel baton charged some media persons, injuring five of them. Those injured include Tauseef Mustafa of AFP and Farooq Javaid Khan. They were taken to a hospital.

‘Khan has a head injury and Mustafa has suffered a fracture,’ said a sobbing Javed Dar, their colleague.

Journalists covering the procession in Batamaloo alleged that security forces beat them while they were discharging professional duties.

The latest deaths led to fresh tension in Srinagar that has been under strict curfew after a fresh wave of violent protests rocked the Muslim-dominated Kashmir Valley last month.

Eleven people, mostly teenagers, have been killed in firing by security forces since June 11 when a 17-year-old student, Tufail Mattoo, died after being hit by a police teargas shell.

Spontaneous protests erupted Tuesday in the Old City areas forcing a complete shutdown as soon as markets were beginning to open Tuesday morning after a day-long curfew Monday.

Banks, offices and businesses also closed down as the news about the latest deaths spread like wildfire in the entire city.

A mob hijacked and later torched a government vehicle in the uptown Gogjibagh area, close to city centre Lal Chowk.

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