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Violence in south Kashmir, 80 injured

By Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar
May 30, 2009 23:16 IST
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The mysterious death of two local women triggered widespread protests in south Kashmir Shopian town, injuring over 80 persons, on Saturday.

The bodies of Nelofar Jan (22) and Asiya Jan (17), who had been working in their farm, were recovered from a local stream on Saturday morning. Villagers allege that duo was killed after being raped by security forces.

The allegation was, however, strongly refuted by the police.

The bodies have been sent for autopsy and a case has been registered, the police said.

As the news spread in the Shopian town, 60 km from capital Srinagar, hundreds of protestors went amuck ransacking the local hospital. The violent mob attacked the office of the local district magistrate and the police station.

Police and paramilitary forces were moved in strength to bring the situation under control, resulting in pitched battles in which 80 persons, including 15 cops, were injured.

Tension gripped the town and authorities had to impose curfew-like restrictions to restore order. However, the protestors kept re-grouping and engaged the security forces in pitched battles.

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Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar