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Teenaged protestor critically injured in Baramulla

By Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar
June 30, 2009 15:12 IST
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Baramulla town in northern Kashmir remained tense on Tuesday after a young protestor was critically wounded in firing by the security forces and normal life was paralysed across the valley in response to a shutdown called by the separatists.

Baramulla, 54 kms away from Srinagar, has been simmering since Monday, after two youth were killed and 15 others wounded in the day-long violence in the town.

Violence broke out today morning after groups of youth shouting anti-India slogans took to the streets and later indulged in stone pelting. The security forces responded by firing teargas to disperse the mob.

Bilal Ahmad Bhat, 13, was critically wounded after security forces opened fire near the Baramulla bridge. According to the doctors, a bullet had pierced Bilal's skull and his condition was very critical.

Six other persons were also injured in today's clashes, which intensified after the news about Bilal's injury spread. Thousands of people came out of their homes in Baramulla to protest against the firing.

Though the administration tried to enforce the curfew imposed on the town on Monday, mobs kept on assembling in different places and throwing stones at the security forces.

Baramulla District Magistrate Lateefu Zaman Deva said, "The situation in the town is tense. We are trying to enforce the curfew strictly."

Two people had been killed on Monday after security forces opened fire on a mob which was protesting the alleged misbehaviour of a policeman with a woman.

Life across Kashmir remained paralysed on the first day of the three-day long protest shutdown called by the hardline separatist All Parties Hurriyat Conference.

Shops, businesses, educational institutions and government offices were shut and public transport remained off the roads.

Security forces have enforced curfew like restrictions in old areas of the capital city.

The violence in Baramulla came close on the heels of the continued protests in south Kashmir's Shopian town, against the rape and murder of two young women, allegedly by security forces. 

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Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar