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J&K: Indefinite curfew in Baramulla after violence

By Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar
Last updated on: June 29, 2009 15:33 IST
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Violence rocked north Kashmir's Baramulla town on Monday, leaving one person dead and four others seriously wounded forcing the authorities to impose an indefinite curfew on the town to control the situation.

Violence broke out in the old part of Baramulla town early on Monday morning, after violent mobs protesting against the overnight alleged indecent behaviour of a cop with a woman took to streets.

The trouble erupted in the town on Sunday evening when angry groups of youth indulged in stone pelting after a woman came out of the local police station and alleged that the cops misbehaved with her.

However, police denied the woman's charge and said her husband Mohammad Yousuf Bhat was picked up for questioning in connection with the abduction of a teenaged girl by the woman's brother.

"The woman came to the police station and sought release of her husband. She threatened to end her life when police asked her politely to leave the police station and produce her brother," a police spokesman said adding the woman left the police station and made allegations against the police.

However, as the mobs swelled and pelting intensified, security forces opened fire at the protestors, killing a youth identified as Saleem Wani and wounding four others.

The injured youth were initially taken to the town hospital, where the attending doctors referred them to Srinagar for specialised treatment. Condition of three injured persons is stated to be critical.

As the news about the killing of the youth spread in the town, more people poured on the streets carrying the body on their shoulders shouting pro-freedom slogans.

The district magistrate Baramulla, Lateefu Zaman Deva said curfew had to be imposed in the town to 'control the situation.'

He said police and paramilitary troops were enforcing the curfew in the town.

Police jeeps fitted with loud speakers were making announcements in the town asking people to return to their homes.

"The situation is very tense," Deva said.

Monday's violence in Baramulla comes close on the heels of a month long unrelenting agitation, triggered by the rape and murder of two young women in south Kashmir's Shopian town.

Additional reportage: PTI

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Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar