SRINAGAR: Fresh violence erupted in the Kashmir Valley on Friday, after days of relative calm.
Security forces opened fire to quell stone-pelting protestors who clashed with them at several places, leaving two persons dead and 70 others injured.
Strict restrictions were imposed on the movement of people following a call by the separatists to march to Maisuma in the heart of the city to protest the killing of youths allegedly in firing by security forces during demonstrations.
Shoukat Ahmad Chopan and Mohammad Ahsan Ganai were killed and seven others injured when security forces opened fire on a mob at Arampora village of Sopore, 55 km from here in Baramulla district of North Kashmir on Friday afternoon, police said.
They said the people took to streets shortly after Friday prayers and were heading towards Sopore town when the security forces intercepted them and asked them to disperse. However, the protestors turned violent and indulged in stone-pelting on a CRPF picket. The security personnel opened fire, resulting in injuries to seven persons who were rushed to hospital. Chopan and Ganai succumbed to injuries at SMHS hospital here, they said.
Seven persons were injured when police opened fire after a group of youths went on rampage and set ablaze a vehicle parked inside police station Pattan, 27 kms from here on Srinagar-Baramulla national highway, police said. They said the fire also damaged a single-storey building within the police station complex but the main building remained unaffected by the blaze. However, the window panes of the building were smashed by the stone throwers, resulting in injuries to at least 12 policemen including the Station House Officer. The condition of three of the injured protesters was stated to be "critical."
Out of 70 injured in clashes, at least 10 suffered bullet injuries and were undergoing treatment in different hospitals. The clashes come nearly 10 days after a person was killed and another injured in police firing in self-defence on a mob which turned violent during funeral of youth who had drowned in Jhelum river in Baramulla district.
Condemning the killings, Opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Friday said such incidents were contributing to an "unprecedented worsening of situation." PDP general secretary, Mr Mohammad Dilawar Mir, in a statement here, accused the state administration of failing to perform its duty. The state unit of CPI(M) also expressed grief and shock over the killings.