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J&K police given shoot-at-sight orders in Srinagar

Last updated on: August 03, 2010 23:18 IST

Amid spiralling violence, shoot-at-sight orders were issued by the police in curfew-bound Srinagar on Tuesday, as five more people were killed in firing by security forces on violent protesters who defied restrictions and clashed with them in the Kashmir Valley.

The shoot-at-sight orders were announced through public address systems fitted in police vans in areas of Dal Gate, Residency Road and All India Radio Crossing in the city, the police said.

Protesters defied curfew restrictions in Srinagar, Budgam, Bandipora, Awantipora, Kulgam and Baramulla and indulged in heavy stone pelting on security personnel.

They attacked public and police properties at a number of places, a police spokesman said.

"Security forces had to open fire for self defence and for dispersal of mobs at few places, in which three persons have lost their lives and a number of police and Central Reserve Police Force men got injured," he said.

Meanwhile, Riyaz Ahmad Bhat, who was injured in firing in Khrew on August 1, succumbed to injuries in SKIMS hospital, police said. With 5 more deaths, the toll since last Friday has gone up to 26.

Residents of Qamarwari took out a procession this morning. Police and paramilitary forces tried to disperse them but when the mob refused, they opened fire killing 25-year-old Mehraj Ahmed Lone and injuring three others, the police said.

In another incident in Eidgah area of the city, security forces fired at a violent group killing a person identified as Anees Khurshid, they said.

In Kulgam, one person, who is yet to be identified, was also killed in police firing, they said.

A large group of protesters took out a procession from Jama Masjid towards Eidgah here. Another group started off from Kanikadal. The CRPF opened when the group turned violent after reaching Karfali Mohalla, Fatehkadal, they said.

However, there were no immediate reports of any causality.

Later, the protesters tried to reassemble with residents from Nawa bazar, Kaachgari, Fatehkadal and Lal Bazar joining it but were chased away by security personnel.

Two migrant houses and the old Naib Tehsildar office were set on fire in Bomie in Sopore. The police post in Bomie was also attacked, the police spokesman said.

In Frisal Sherpora of Kulgam, a police post was set on fire and houses of a policeman and a special police officer were torched by rampaging mobs, he said.

Security forces hurled tear gas shells and used batons when the protesters did not heed to warnings to stop the stone pelting.

Notwithstanding the curfew, people in some areas of old Srinagar city offered afternoon prayers on roads.

Curfew remained in force in all the ten districts in the Valley.

Protests also spread to Jammu region's Ramban, Doda and Kishtwar districts as people held anti-government demonstrations and blocked Jammu-Srinagar National Highway over deaths in firing by security forces in the Valley.

A group of people gathered on the highway at Banihal and held demonstrations, official sources said.

They blocked the highway and pelted stones on a few vehicles disrupting traffic. As a result of the blockade, hundreds of vehicles were stranded at various places on the highway.

The demonstrations were also held in Kishtwar and Doda districts. There was also a shut down in three towns of Kishtwar, Bhaderwah and Banihal of Jammu region in support of Kashmiri protesters.

Meanwhile, the Central government has decided to send nearly 2000 paramilitary force personnel to the Valley while another 3,200, currently based in the state, will be redeployed in trouble-torn areas.

The additional forces are being sent following a request from Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah to the Centre to help tackle the situation in the Valley, which has been hit by a fresh wave of protests, official sources said.

 They said 19 companies (1,900 personnel) of Central Reserve Paramilitary Forces will reach Kashmir Valley within a day or two from outside the state.

32 companies (3,200 personnel) currently posted in different parts of Jammu and Kashmir will be redeployed in the trouble-torn districts of Kashmir.

Seven persons were killed yesterday as police opened fire to disperse the mobs who defied curfew and attacked police stations and CRPF camps in the Valley.

As violence escalated in Kashmir, Omar had chaired a meeting of the Unified Command here on Monday and reviewed the measures in place to tackle the situation.

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