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Two dozen injured in Kashmir clashes

Srinagar, July 16 (Calcutta Tube) Despite curfew in capital Srinagar and other major towns of the Kashmir Valley to thwart a separatist march here Friday, mobs indulged in stone pelting at security forces at many places resulting in injuries to two dozen people.

Authorities here said despite protests and few incidents of stone pelting, the proposed march to Batmaloo area in Srinagar city was successfully prevented and no major untoward incident occurred anywhere in the valley.

‘The march proposed by separatists to Batmaloo area of the city was prevented and the overall law and order situation was under control,’ a senior police officer said.

‘Curfew had been imposed in Srinagar city and preventive restrictions were in place at other major towns of the valley to protect civilian life and property,’ he added.

Reports reaching here said over two dozen people, including security men, were injured in clashes across the Valley.

However, no one was critically injured.

Despite heavy restrictions, a separatist procession was carried out at uptown Pirbagh area of Srinagar city.

The procession later turned violent with youth pelting stones at security forces who responded with batons and tear smoke shells.

In Zakura locality, security personnel used force to quell the mob.

Protests were also held despite restrictions in Badgam, Humhama, Chadura, Kralgund (Kupwara), Trehgam, Bandipora, Pulwama, Bijbehara, Tahab, Rajpora, Kulgam, Tral, Qazigund, Mattan, Shopian, Sopore, Baramulla and Ganderbal areas of the valley.

A police officer suffered injuries during stone pelting incident in north Kashmir’s Ganderbal town after Friday prayers. Six civilians were also injured in the incident.

In north Kashmir’s Bandipora town, a procession of around 1,000 people staged a sit-in in the town. Police were trying to persuade the protesters to disperse peacefully.

Hardline separatist Hurriyat group, headed by Syed Ali Geelani, had asked people to march to Batmaloo locality of Srinagar to express solidarity with the families of two people, including a 25-year old woman, killed in firing by security forces here July 6.

Geelani had also called for a two-day shutdown, which ended Thursday, against alleged human rights violations by security forces in Kashmir.

Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, chairman of the moderate Hurriyat group, was placed under house arrest to prevent his participation in the march.

Contingents of police and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in full body gear were deployed in the old city and uptown areas to disallow all pedestrian and vehicular movement.

Traffic intersections had been blocked with coils of concertina wire.

Fourteen people, including a 25-year-old woman, have been killed in firing by security forces in Kashmir since June 11.

The state government has announced an independent enquiry into the circumstances that led to the deaths of the 14 people as well as a youth who was found drowned.

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