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Another youth killed in CRPF firing; Sopore simmers with rage

By Mukhtar Ahmad
Last updated on: June 28, 2010 13:53 IST

One person was killed on Monday when Central Reserve Police Force personnel opened fire to quell a mob that was pelting stones on its battalion headquarters in north Kashmir's Sopore town.

Sopore has been rocked by protests since two men were killed during clashes with CRPF forces on Friday.

According to a senior police officer, CRPF troopers opened fire when a mob violated curfew restrictions and started pelting stones at security forces near the bus stand.

Tajamul Ahmad Bhat, 20, was injured in the firing and shifted to the hospital in a critical condition, where he succumbed to his injuries.

Security forces are also trying to stop a protest march called by separatists which began in Srinagar.

The march was called by moderate All Parties Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Moulvi Umar Farooq. Thousands of protestors, shouting anti-India and pro-freedom slogans, have joined the march.

The security forces fired warning shots in the air and used tear smoke shells to break up the procession. But the protestors soon regrouped and the procession continued. The security forces are trying to thwart the march by using tear gas and baton charges.

Two protestors were injured in the baton charging and they were taken to the hospital.

Earlier, the body of Bilal Ahmad Wani, the 23-year old youth killed during clashes with CRPFon Friday, was buried in Sopore. Immediately after the burial, clashes erupted in several localities, as mobs defied the curfew to come out on the streets.

All the senior leaders of the moderate APHC including chairman Mirwaiz Moulvi Umar Farooq have been placed under house arrest.

A spontaneous shutdown has paralysed life across the valley. The government has already ordered the closure of all the educational institutions in Kashmir and the postponement of the various exams.

Mukhtar Ahmad In Srinagar