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Upendra Bharti | HENB | Jammu | Aug 6, 2016:: Three persons were killed and over 150 injured in fresh clashes which rocked Kashmir at several places after Friday prayers, raising the death toll during the current unrest to 53.
The clashes took place even as curfew was extended to more areas of Kashmir to thwart a planned march by separatists to Hazratbal shrine here even as normal life in the Valley remained paralysed for the 28th consecutive day. Mohammad Maqbool Khanday was killed allegedly in action by security forces against mobs who indulged in stone-pelting after Friday prayers at Nagam in Chadoora area of central Kashmir’s Budgam district, a police official said.
As the news of Khanday’s death spread, protests erupted at several places along the Chanapora-Chadoora road and clashes were reported from Kralpora area, he said. In another incident, three youth were critically injured in action by security forces against violent mob at Khansahib area of Budgam district, the official said. He said the injured were taken to SMHS hospital here where one of them was declared “brought dead” by the doctors. The death of the youth led to protests within the hospital and some youth started pelting stones on the nearby Karan Nagar police station.
Fresh clashes broke out between protesters and security forces in Anantnag and Shopian districts of south Kashmir on Saturday even as curfew continued in many parts of the Valley and normal life remained paralysed for the 29 consecutive day.
21 persons were injured in violence in Chee in Anantnag when protesters staged a rally, a police official said, adding the security forces used various crowd control measures to disperse the protesters.
Protesters pelted stones at a police post at Herpora in Shopian but there were no reports of anyone getting hurt in the incident so far, he added.
Curbs on movement of people had to be extended on Saturday in view of fresh violence in some parts of the Valley on Friday which left three persons dead and over 150 others injured, the official said.
“Curfew remains in force in six police station areas of Srinagar, Nowhatta, Khanyar, Rainawari, Safakadal, Maharajgunj and Batamaloo, as a precautionary measure to maintain law and order,” a police official said.
He said curfew was also in force in four towns of Budgam district, Chadoora, Khansahib, Magam and Budgam , Anantnag town and Khanpora area of Baramulla district.
“Restrictions on assembly of four or more people continue to remain in effect in rest of the Valley,” the official said.
So far, 53 people have died and more than 6,000 injured in clashes between protesters and security forces following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in an encounter on July 8.
Normal life remained disrupted due to the curbs imposed by the authorities and the separatist sponsored strike.
As a result of the stranded public life due to high violence of the separatists, the Annual Amarnath Yatra has been suffered very badly.
In the middle of the Yatra (started on July 2nd and will be continued upto 17th August as scheduled this year) on 4th August a total number of 2,16,801 pilgrims already visited the holy cave of Amarnath this year. In 2015 there were 3,25,841 pilgrims by 4th Aug timeline as shown in the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB)‘s website. It clearly shows a downfall over one lakh pilgrims this year by this point of time.
Though the J&K state govt, SASB and J&K Police and Indian Security Forces are trying hard to maintain the normalcy in public life and the Annual Amarnath Yatra, the Pak sponsored separatists groups are trying to make various obstacles to hamper the public life and the pilgrimage both. This year Amarnath Yatra has been scheduled for 48 days (July 2nd – Aug 17th).
The annual Amarnath Yatra pilgrimage crossed the 3.5 lakh mark in a long 59 days schedule in the last year (July 2nd – Aug 29th, 2015).
__Input from PTI/IANS/SASB.