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Woman killed in Kashmir firing, toll reaches 102

Monday, September 20, 2010 07:09:54 AM, IANS

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Kashmir toll 98 in 100 days of unrest

The Kashmir Valley witnessed another bloody day Saturday as three people were killed in firing by security forces on protesting mobs, taking the toll in 100 days of unrest to 98 as authorities relaxed the indefinite curfew in parts of Srinagar and other   »

Srinagar: A 25-year-old woman died in Kashmir's Sopore town Sunday evening when security forces fired at a stone-pelting mob, while three protesters hurt in clashes with the security forces succumbed to their injuries. The deaths take the toll in the 101-day-long unrest in the Kashmir Valley to 102.

"At the time of withdrawal of the security forces after the day's deployment, a mob pelted stones on them in Nathipora Bomai in Sopore town. A woman, Mubeena, daughter of Ghulam Ahmad Wani, a resident of Nathipora, was injured," police here said.

"She was rushed to Srinagar for specialised treatment but has unfortunately succumbed to critical injuries," police said, adding some security force personnel were also injured in the incident.

Meanwhile, Muhammad Amin Ganai, who was hurt in clashes with security forces in north Kashmir's Tappar village Friday, died in a hospital here, a senior police officer said.

Two more protesters, identified as Bilal Ahmad Najar, who was injured in clashes in Khannal area of Anantnag district Saturday, and Shabir Ahmad Dar, hurt in clashes Thursday in Awantipora area, died in Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences Soura (SKIMS), the officer added.

Authorities continued with curfew in Srinagar city and all other major towns of the Valley Sunday and the overall law and order situation was largely peaceful, barring the Sopore incident.

An all-party delegation, headed by union Home Minister P. Chidambaram, is arriving here Monday to make an assessment of the situation in the Valley.

Written invitations have been extended to many politicians, both mainstream and separatist, representatives of trade and industry and other important constituents of the local society to pave the way out of the present cycle of violence that started here on June 11.

Hardline leader Syed Ali Geelani has already said he would not meet the delegation, as according to him, the will be here to discuss ways and means out of the present crisis within the framework of the Indian constitution.

Muhammad Yasin Malik, chairman of the Pro-freedom Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) and Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, chairman of the moderate Hurriyat group, have said they would take a decision on whether or not to meet the delegation only after they receive a formal invitation.

Mehbooba Mufti, president of the main opposition People's Democratic Party (PDP), said she would reconsider her earlier decision to meet the delegation if the authorities continued with curfew in the Valley Monday. She accused the Omar Abdullah government of attempting to "sabotage" the visit by reimposing the curfew.

"The state government is bent upon sabotaging this visit...They are trying to create more anger by imposing curfew. Since the government has failed totally, they want to destroy everything as they go," she told reporters here.

She appealed to the all-party delegation to reach out to the common man. "There is no rationale in the curfew imposed... I appeal to the delegation to reach out to the common man, to the people of Kashmir beyond what the Jammu and Kashmir government wants them to see and beyond all the mainstream parties."

"The delegation must directly interact with the common man... The state government has brought Kashmiris in confrontation with the security forces. If you alienate your own people, where do they go?"

State Law Minister Ali Mohammad Sagar said that curfew has been imposed as a compulsion and not as a choice.

"Everyone is free to meet the delegation," he said.

The curfew, imposed since 18 people were killed in unprecedented violence Sep 13, had been relaxed for four hours in uptown areas of Srinagar city Saturday. As the law and order situation remained peaceful, the relaxation period was later extended to 10 p.m.

But in some Old City areas like Nowhatta, Rajouri Kadal and Safa Kadal, where curfew had been relaxed for four hours from 2 p.m. Saturday, authorities had to cut this short because of stone-pelting incidents.




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