Srinagar: Two young people were killed today while several others were injured as fresh clashes broke out between security forces and protesters in Kashmir.
A 19-year-old, Mustafa Ahmed Mir, was killed and at least 20 others injured when security forces and protestors clashed in Bandipora (less than 70 km from Srinagar) on Tuesday morning, reports said.
Soon after Eid prayers ended in Bandipora, a group of protesters started hurling stones at security forces who retaliated by firing tear smoke shells and pellet guns, a police official said.
Clashes were also reported from South Kashmir after a young man named Shahid Ahmed was killed during fresh protests at Bonpora in the Shopian district, another police official said. With these deaths, the toll in the ongoing agitation in Kashmir has risen to 78.
According to the Indian Express, clashes were also reported in Batamaloo in Srinagar after prayers were offered.
For the first time in many years, authorities today imposed curfew in all ten districts of the Kashmir Valley on Eid, even as helicopters and drones were pressed into service for surveillance. They will be keeping a bird’s eye vigil from the skies. They will give early warning to security forces in case of assembly of people in certain areas, the sources said. According to NDTV, protestors have defied restrictions in several places and taken out demonstrations.
Restrictions on the assembly of a large number of people have been imposed in view of the call by separatists for a march to the local offices of the UN today, coinciding with the global body’s opening of the 71st session of the UN General Assembly in New York.
The army, which has been asked to be on standby, will step in if there is fresh outbreak of violence in the Valley, which has been witnessing widespread unrest for over two months leading to death of around 80 people so far, official sources said.
Army troops have already been stationed at vantage points in rural areas which have a history of violent protests, they said, adding curfew came in force from midnight.
This is the first time in 26 years since the onset of militancy that no Eid congregations will be held at the Idgah and Hazratbal shrines.
The government has already ordered a shutdown of internet services of all telecom networks and also mobile telephony except that of the state-run BSNL for the next 72 hours.
(With PTI inputs)