Valley continues to seethe as three more die in police firing

Written by Bashaarat Masood | Srinagar | Updated: Jun 30 2010, 07:28am hrs
A day after the J&K government claimed that it has put in place a mechanism to prevent civilian deaths, three teenagers were killed as J&K police chased protestors in Anantnag on a day when protests spread to south Kashmir. Four persons were also wounded in the police firing.

In Srinagar, chief minister Omar Abdullah addressed a press conference and sought the help of the people and religious leaders to calm tempers. I appeal to the people, religious leaders and political parties to help the government, he said. I also appeal to the parents to ensure that their children dont go out.

The teenagers15-year-old Ishtiyaq Ahmad Khanday, 17-year-old Imtiyaz Ahmad Yatoo and Sajad-ul-Islam (18)were killed when the police chased the protestors at Lazbal in south Kashmirs Anantnag district. The death toll of civilians killed in police and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) firing in the past fortnight has risen to 11.

As several parts of north Kashmir and Srinagar reeled under curfew and people defied security restrictions across the Valley, a group of youth at Malaknag in Mattan came out to protest against the killing of civilians in Sopore and Baramulla. The police fired at the protestors, wounding one of them, triggering protests at Lazbal in Anantnag town.

At Lazbal, hundreds of youth took to the streets protesting against the Sopore killings and the firing on the protest march at Mattan. The police fired tear smoke shells and warning shots in air, and the protestors dispersed. Later, a big group of protestors assembled at SK Colony in the interior of the town.

Eyewitnesses say that at 4.20 pm in the afternoon, the police rushed to the colony and fired on the protestors. Khanday was killed in the lawns of his home while Yatoo, a baker, was killed in his shop. Doctors at the hospital said that Yatoo and Sajad-ul-Islam, who were brought dead at hospital, were shot in the head while Khanday was shot in his chest.

Four persons were also wounded in the police firing. One of them, Fayaz Ahmad Rather, who was hit in the chest, was rushed to Shri Maharaja Hari Singh (SMHS) Hospital in Srinagar, where doctors term his condition as critical.

The Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) too has received three injured youth from Anantnag on Tuesday. Three persons were referred to our hospital today from Anantnag, said Medical Superintendent of SKIMS, Mohammad Amin Tabish. All of them have received blunt injuries. They are stable.