Fresh clashes broke out today between protestors and security forces in Kashmir in which two civilians were killed taking to 41 the death toll in the current unrest even as a PDP MLA was injured when he was attacked by a stone pelting mob.
The two civilians were killed in retaliatory firing after the protestors pelted stones at an Army vehicle in Qazigund in south Kashmir even as curfew in the Valley continued for the 10th day, police said, adding seven people were also injured, including one critically. In all, a dozen people were injured in clashes in separate incidents.
Mohammad Khalil Band, the PDP MLA, suffered injuries when a mob pelted stones at his vehicle in Pulwama district last night even as normal life remained paralysed and the separatists extended till July 22 the shutdown call in the Valley in protest against the killing of young Hizbul commander Burhan Wani.
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has convened an All Party Meeting here on July 21 to discuss the prevailing law and order situation in the Valley, an official spokesman said.
Newspapers failed to hit the stands for the third day while mobile telephony and mobile internet services remained suspended for the 10th day.
While most of the areas of the Valley remained peaceful, clashes between protestors and security forces were reported from several places in north Kashmir including Trehgam in Kupwara district, and Sopore and Rafiabad in Baramulla district, a police official said.
The official said at least five persons were injured in action by the security forces when a protesting mob pelted stones at them in Trehgam.
“A stone pelting mob targetted the vehicle of PDP MLA from Pulwama last night, resulting in injuries to the lawmaker (Mohammad Khalil Band),” he said.
“All 10 districts of Kashmir Valley continue to remain under curfew today as a precautionary measure for maintaining law and order,” the official said.
He said the decision to continue the curfew was taken to maintain law and order in view of clashes at some places and couple of places in the city yesterday.
Police and paramilitary personnel have been deployed in strength across the Valley for strict implementation of the prohibitory orders, the official said. Normal life remained paralysed due to separatist sponsored strike, which has now been extended till July 22.
In a joint statement, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik said the shutdown in the valley will continue till July 22. However, they have announced a relaxation of half day from 2.00 pm onwards on July 21.
The schools and colleges, which were scheduled to reopen today after 17-day summer vacations, remained closed as government extended the holidays for one more week in view of the prevailing law and order situation.
Violent protests have rocked Kashmir since July 9 following killing of Burhan Wani and two of his associates in an encounter with security forces a day earlier in Kokernag area of Anantnag district.
In the ensuing clashes with security forces, 41 persons including a cop were killed while over 3,400 people including 1,600 security force personnel were injured.