Valley simmers all day: 5 killed in fresh violence
Five persons were killed and 20 others wounded in daylong violence across Jammu and Kashmir as mobs yet again defied curfew in the Valley on Wednesday.
Massive protests against the alleged desecration of the holy Quran broke out in Mendhar town of Poonch district in Jammu region on Wednesday morning.
A senior police officer said protestors went on rampage in Mendhar town and indulged in arson of government buildings in the town.
He said the mobs also tried to set on fire a Christian missionary school in the town, which was, however, foiled by the police.
The officer said police had to open fire to quell the violence resulting in on the spot death of four persons and injuries to 20 others.
All the injured were initially taken to the local hospital at Mendhar for treatment. Divisional commissioner Jammu Pawan Kotwal told rediff.com that eight critically injured persons were evacuated to Jammu for specialised treatment.
The divisional commissioner said an indefinite curfew has been imposed in the town while it continues in the district headquarters of Poonch of which Mendhar is a part.
Text: Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar
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Govt buildings also come under attack
Protestors continued to defy the strict round-the-clock curfew in place since Sunday in the Kashmir Valley and clashed with the security forces at several places across the state.
The curfew was clamped in capital Srinagar and other towns and later extended to entire Kashmir Valley following massive pro-independence rallies on Eid day and the large scale violence on Monday that left 18 dead and 80 others wounded.
Security forces on Wednesday evening opened fire to quell stone throwing protestors shouting pro-freedom and anti-India slogans in the north Kashmir's apple rich Sopore town.
A senior police officer said Mudasir Ahmad Gazi received a fatal bullet wound and was taken to the local hospital where he succumbed.
News of Gazi's death triggered more violence in the town as protestors took to streets in several localities pelting rocks and stones at the security forces.
The mobs torched a government building in the town where additional reinforcements were rushed to control the situation.
Curfew and clashes have wrecked the lives of Kashmiris
In the south Kashmir's Shopian town, protestors burnt two government vehicles and clashed with the security forces who opened fire injuring two protestors one of whom was evacuated to Srinagar in a critical condition.
Security forces used teargas and baton charges to quell curfew defying mobs in several localities of the capital city. Six cops and one protestor were injured in Wednesday's clashes, police said.
Due to the harsh curfew restrictions, in effect since Sunday, the local residents in capital Srinagar and other towns are facing acute shortages of essential items including baby food, milk, vegetable and other day-to-day essentials.
A special core group meeting was held in Srinagar at the headquarters of 15 corps which was chaired by the the Corps Commander and security adviser to the Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, Lt Gen N C Marwah.
The meeting was attended by state Director General of Police Kuldeep Khuda and other senior civil and military officials.
The meeting discussed the measures to effectively counter the protest calendar issued by the separatists and formulated a detailed joint strategy to restore normalcy in Kashmir.
The strategy will be implemented with immediate effect, a defence spokesman in Srinagar said.