Shoot-at-sight orders in Srinagar

Written by Political Bureau | Srinagar | Updated: Aug 4 2010, 06:38am hrs
Shoot-at-sight orders were issued in Srinagar where three protesters were killed on Tuesday in firing by securitymen, taking the death toll in protests across the Valley to 26 since Friday.

Hundreds defied curfew and took to the streets in Srinagar and elsewhere in the Valley. In Srinagar old city, police and paramilitary forces were withdrawn from several places after people began marching towards the Eidgah. Hurriyat hardliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani, who had called for the march to Eidgah, was arrested when he stepped out of the Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) where he was undergoing treatment.

Trouble began on Tuesday morning when police and CRPF personnel opened fire on protesters marching in Qamarwari. Six people injured in the firing were taken to the Shri Maharaja Hari Singh (SMHS) Hospital where 20-year-old Meraj-ud-din Lone died.

As news of Lones death spread, hundreds turned out in Qamarwari, raising slogans. Mediapersons at the spot had a close call when securitymen opened fire.

Hours later, another protest march was fired upon in Narwara, killing 17-year-old Anees Khursheed Ganai. Angry crowds gathered at the Martyrs Cemetery in Eidgah.

At Frisal in Kulgam, where two persons were killed on Monday, Jehangir Ahmad Bhat died in police firing today. We received three wounded persons, said Dr Nazir Ahmad, Chief Medical Officer, Kulgam. One of them succumbed to injuries in the hospital while another critically wounded was referred to a Srinagar hospital.

Bhats killing triggered more protests and police post was set ablaze. Protesters also set on fire the house of a Special Police Officer (SPO) who they alleged had opened fire on them. At the SKIMS, 20-year-old Riyaz Ahmad Bhat, injured in police firing at Khrew on Saturday, died of injuries.

In north Kashmir, police and CRPF opened fire on a group of protesters in Rangwar, leaving three persons injured. The condition of 45-year-old Mohammad Akbar Wani, hit in the head, was said to be critical.

The police also opened fire on protesters in Shalteng on the outskirts of Srinagar. Three persons were injured. The protesters then attacked the residence of agriculture minister Ghulam Hassan Mir and tried to set it on fire. Mirs hotel at Tangmarg was also damaged by protesters on Tuesday.