Tension grips Srinagar after man dies in firing

Srinagar, July 6 (Calcutta Tube) Violence continued to plague the Jammu and Kashmir summer capital as fresh street protests erupted Tuesday after a 30-year-old man died of a bullet injury in a clash with security forces.

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.

‘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.

Security forces opened fire as hundreds of people in Batamaloo area in the west of the city took to the streets after police fished out the body of 17-year-old Muzaffar Ahmad Bhat from a stream early Tuesday.

Some protestors attacked 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 tried to march towards Eidgah prayer grounds in Old Srinagar to bury them in a common graveyard where thousands, killed in an 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 and have apparently put them in a morgue in police control room.

CRPF personnel baton charged some media persons, injuring five of them.

Those injured include Tauseef Mustafa of AFP and Farooq Javaid Khan, a photojournalist. 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 Kashmir Valley last month.

Eleven people, mostly teenagers, have been killed in firing by security forces.

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

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

The chairman of the moderate Hurriyat group, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, led a demonstration from Old City Rajouri Kadal area towards Batamaloo despite authorities imposing curfew in some areas.

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