Several parts of Kashmir were today rocked by clashes, leaving two youth injured, even as Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti sought to douse the flames by visiting and assuring justice to families of those killed since Tuesday in firing by security forces amid her assertion that such incidents are “unacceptable”.
Curfew-like restrictions continued in certain parts of Kashmir and mobile internet services were snapped throughout the Valley. Two youth Yawar Rashid and Gowhar Majid sustained injuries when security forces fired pellet guns to disperse stone-pelting protestors in Trehgam area of Kupwara district, a police official said.
He said both the injured were shifted to a hospital in Srinagar for specialised treatment. Protestors resorted to stone-pelting on security forces at Nathnusa soon after police stopped and turned back MLA Langate Sheikh Abdul Rashid, who wanted to visit Drugmulla, the official said.Protests were also reported from Barsoo area of Ganderbal district where a group of youth blocked the road and resorted to stone-pelting, he said, adding they were chased away.
In Naidkhai in Bandipora, protestors set ablaze an abandoned barrack of police, he said. The tin-shed barrack had been abandoned following the recent floods.
While most of Srinagar city remained peaceful, a minor incident of stone-pelting was reported from Natipora area, the official said.
Meanwhile, mother of the 16-year-old girl, whose alleged molestation on Tuesday triggered the cycle of violence in Kashmir, claimed that her daughter was pressurised into giving a video statement denying she was molested and has approached court seeking an independent probe into the incident.
“We do not want police or Army, those who have done this, to inquire it,” she said. As tension persisted, Mehbooba visited and consoled the family of 18-year-old Arif Hussain Dar who was killed yesterday when army opened fire to disperse stone-pelting mobs outside a camp in Nathnusa area of Kupwara, 100 kms from here.
She visited families of other deceased also. Five people have died since Tuesday in firing by security forces on protesters who were agitating against alleged molestation in Handwara town of Kupwara district.
“The Chief Minister met the kin of the victims who were killed since Tuesday in the district. She expressed solidarity with them and assured them that inquiry will be conducted and justice done,” said an official who was present.
Mehbooba flew to Kupwara to make an on-the-spot assessment of the situation. She also chaired a meeting of local officers which was attended by Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh, Minister for Rural Development Abdul Haq Khan, MLA Handwara Sajad Lone, Chief Secretary B R Sharma, DGP K Rajendra Kumar and senior Army officer.