Srinagar: The curfew across all 10 districts of Kashmir remained in force today with security forces stepping up vigil as separatists called for observing today as a “black day” to protest the recent killings in the Valley.
Yesterday was relatively peace but the death toll rose to 42 with over 3,400 injured in the clashes since Hizbul Mujahideen militant commander Burhan Wani’s killing on July 8.
Curfew was imposed to curb clashes in the aftermath of Wani’s killing in an encounter in south Kashmir.
“Curfew will continue in all the 10 districts of Kashmir Valley today as well,” a police official said. He said the decision to continue the curfew was taken to maintain law and order in the Valley.
Police and paramilitary personnel had been deployed across the Valley for strict implementation of the prohibitory orders, the official said.
He said the situation across the Valley was so far peaceful.
Yesterday, the curfew-bound Kashmir Valley witnessed the first peaceful day since killing of Wani as no major incident of violence took place.
Though there were few minor incidents of stone pelting at four places in Pulwama, Anantnag and Ganderbal districts, the day passed off peacefully in rest of the Valley, the official said.
Meanwhile, normal life remained paralysed for the 12th day today because of a 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 yesterday said the shutdown in the Valley would continue till July 22.
However, they have announced a relaxation of half day from 2 pm onwards tomorrow.
Schools and colleges in the Kashmir Valley continue to remain closed after the government extended the summer vacations till July 25.
Shops, business establishments and petrol pumps continued to remain shut, while government offices and banks witnessed thin attendance.
Mobile telephony and mobile internet services also remained shut while newspapers failed to hit stands.
Army “deeply regrets” loss of life
The Army “deeply regretted” the Qazigund firing incident and ordered a probe even as a woman, Neelofar, died after being injured in the firing.
Two others were killed and seven injured in the incident that took place on Sunday.
A police spokesperson, giving details of the incident, said an army mobile domination patrol party while moving towards Devsar tried to clear a road blockade erected by miscreants at Churaht Qazigund.
“The security force party while removing the obstructions came under heavy stone pelting by the miscreants from two sides. The Army party warned the mob to maintain distance but it did not relent,” the spokesperson said.
“Some miscreants tried to snatch weapons from them and tried to set ablaze the vehicles. Despite repeated warnings the mob did not disperse and army fired in self defence in an effort to move out from the spot,” the spokesperson said, adding six people were injured in the incident out of which two died on Sunday night.
Referring to the incident, a defence spokesperson said, “The army deeply regrets the unfortunate loss of life in the incident at Churat, Qaziund where the troops were forced to open fire yesterday when a large mob turned violent, resorting to heavy stone pelting and attempted to snatch weapons from the soldiers.” “An inquiry has been ordered into the incident.