July 1, 2009 5:37:44 pm
Army on Wednesday staged a flag march after CRPF was withdrawn in curfew-bound Baramulla where a fourth person,injured in firing by security forces,died,triggering fresh protests in strike-hit Kashmir Valley.
A case of murder has been registered against the CRPF personnel involved in firing on protesters at Khanpora last evening that left a youth dead. Army staged a flag march immediately after the paramilitary force was pulled out from the town,55 kms from Srinagar,following the firing incident.
“Army has been called in to assist police in maintaining law and order,” an official spokesman said,as curfew continued without relaxation in Baramulla and Sopore towns for the third successive day.
Indefinite curfew was clamped in the towns on June 29 following killing of two persons in police firing on protesters demanding action against policemen who allegedly misbehaved with a woman at the local police station.
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Police had denied the woman’s charge. A magisterial enquiry was ordered into the allegations of the woman and subsequent firing on the protesters.
Fresh protests erupted when the body of Amir Rashid,who was wounded in firing on June 29 and succumbed to injuries on Wednesday,reached his home town this morning and hundreds of people defied the curfew to join his funeral.
Police fired teargas shells and used batons when a group of mourners indulged stone-pelting,officials said. A woman identified as Anjum Zahoor was hit by a teargas shell and was brought to Soura Medical institute here for treatment.
Violent protests also rocked other places during the separatist sponsored general strike which crippled life in the Valley for the second day.
While an army ambulance was torched by a mob at Palhalan,27 kms from here on Srinagar-Baramulla National Highway,police used teargas shells and batons to chase away stone-pelting protesters at Maisuma in the heart of Srinagar where pitched battles continued for several hours but no one was hurt.
The Army ambulance which had met with an accident and turned turtle while on its way to Baramulla was set ablaze by the protesters at Palhalan. However,the occupants of the vehicle escaped unhurt.
The protesters also blocked the Srinagar-Baramulla National highway. Peaceful demonstrations were held at nearly a dozen places in the city,Khannabal in Anantnag and district headquarters of Kulgam,Pulwama,Bandipora and Kupwara.
A government spokesman said a case of murder has been registered against the CRPF personnel,who had allegedly opened fire at Khanpora-Baramulla last evening leaving a youth identified as Fayaz Ahmad Gojri dead. CRPF authorities have been asked to handover the personnel to Baramulla police.
He said it has also been decided to replace CRPF deployments in Baramulla with Jammu and Kashmir Police.
“The state police has to remain in the forefront at all respective locations brought under curfew with back-up of Army in standby mode for flag march and patrolling under the supervision of respective executive magistrates,” he said.
In rest of the Valley,educational institutions,banks and courts remained closed while skeletal transport was plying on some routes following the three-day strike called by hardline faction of Hurriyat against Baramulla incidents and alleged rape and murder of two women in Shopian.
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