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Indefinite curfew imposed in major towns of Kashmir

July 31, 2010 11:26 IST

Indefinite curfew was clamped in all major towns of the Kashmir Valley on Saturday in the wake of protests, even as the death toll in the violent clashes between locals and security forces rose to four.

There were also reports of sporadic protests in some parts of the Valley.

Two of the 70 people injured during protests yesterday succumbed to injuries at a hospital this morning, a police spokesman said. The deceased have been identified as Mohammed Rafiq and 30-year-old Mohammed Siddiqui of Baramulla district.

Official sources that curfew has been imposed as a precautionary measure following the protests.

The police and paramilitary forces were deployed in all sensitive areas and the residents have been asked not to step out.

Curfew passes given to mediapersons have been cancelled, the police said. This is the second time this month that curfew passes have been cancelled. On July six, curfew passes were cancelled when the army was deployed in the city.

Security forces yesterday opened fire to quell stone-pelting protesters who clashed with them at several places.

The mob had also ransacked a police station in Pattan besides a special operation group camp in the same area.

Shoukat Ahmad Chopan and Mohammad Ahsan Ganai were killed and seven others injured yesterday when security forces opened fire on a mob at Arampora village of Sopore, 55 km from Srinagar in Baramulla district of north Kashmir.

People had taken to the streets shortly after Friday prayers and were heading towards Sopore town when the security forces intercepted them and asked them to disperse.

However, the protesters turned violent and indulged in stone pelting on a Central Reserve Police Force picket. The security personnel opened fire, resulting in injuries to seven persons who were rushed to hospital. Chopan and Ganai succumbed to injuries at SMHS hospital here, they said.

Seven persons were also injured when police opened fire after a group of youths went on rampage and set ablaze a vehicle parked inside police station Pattan, 27 km from here on Srinagar-Baramulla national highway, police said.

The clashes come nearly 10 days after a person was killed and another injured in police firing in self-defence on a mob which turned violent during funeral of youth who had drowned in Jhelum river in Baramulla district.

Condemning the killings, opposition Peoples Democratic Party had said on Friday that such incidents were contributing to an "unprecedented worsening of situation".

PDP general secretary Mohammad Dilawar Mir, in a statement here, accused the state administration of failing to perform its duty.

The state unit of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) also expressed grief and shock over the killings.
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