A youth was killed in army firing in Baramulla town and several others including a police officer injured in the day-long protests and violence as authorities ordered suspension of the internet services across Kashmir on Tuesday evening.
Meanwhile, restrictions were imposed in Baramulla and adjoining Sopore town in north Kashmir following violent clashes between the protestors and security forces even as normalcy was hit due to a bandh on the second day of the shutdown called by the Mutaihida Majlis-e-Mashawarat against the ‘mysterious’ death of a Kashmiri student in Hyderabad.
The conglomerate had asked people to march to the youth’s ancestral Parigam village in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district. However, the march was foiled by the authorities by imposing strict curfew-like restrictions and sealing all entry points to the village.
Army troops allegedly opened fire on a mob that indulged in stone pelting on a passing convoy of the security forces in Baramulla town late on Tuesday afternoon killing a youth on the spot.
The police have now registered a case against the unit of the security forces which had opened fire.
Local residents alleged that the security forces roughed up several persons and even forced their entry into houses in Kakar Hamam locality of the town.
“We have imposed restrictions in Baramulla and Sopore towns. We have also ordered an enquiry into the killing of the youth,” a senior district officer told Rediff.com.
Clashes continued throughout the day in parts of capital Srinagar and other towns. Authorities have now beefed up security in the capital city and other major towns.
For the second time in past month the authorities have suspended internet services across the Valley.
The internet services were suspended hours after the hanging of 2001 Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru in New Delhi’s Tihar jail on February 9.
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah expressed sympathies with the family of the youth killed in firing in Baramulla town on Tuesday afternoon.
The chief minister in an emotional speech in legislative assembly expressed his anger and dismay over the killing of the boy by the forces, describing it ‘an unpardonable act’ and assured ‘justice to the bereaved family’.
“This is why I am vehemently raising the issue of partial revocation of AFSPA (the Armed Forces Special Powers Act) so that the erring forces personnel do not go scot-free”, he told the legislative assembly while speaking on the statement made by law minister in the House informing the killing of a boy and injury to other by forces in Baramulla.
“You cannot feel the anger I am boiling with and the difficulty I am facing to speak at this point in time”, he said, adding that on the chief minister’s chair he has to give so many answers for the commissions and omissions of others.
“I have to seek apology for the actions I am not responsible for nor anywhere related to these. I am being asked to answer the question of Afzal Guru, return of mortal remains to his family, use of unnecessary force by army. I have to give reply for every bullet they fire on civilians. What reply I have for my people in these matters”, he questioned, and said that when his people suffer it pains him deeply; when his people are killed his soul gets shattered.
“But I will get the reply from those who are concerned with such incidents. I will seek justice for my people”, he lamented with anger.
“I also convey the condolence of this House and that of the people of the state to the bereaved family”, he said assuring them justice. “I cannot bring back the dear one you have lost but my heart bleeds with you and my gloom is not less than anyone of you”, he said.
The opposition Peoples Democratic Party has condemned the killing of the youth.
The Valley has been in the throes of a long spell of shutdowns and protests ever since Guru was hanged in Tihar jail in New Delhi last month.