Centre keeping watch on Kashmir situation: MHA

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New Delhi, Jun 26 (UNI) The Centre is keeping a close watch on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir in view of the massive protests by people against transfer of forest land to Shri Amarnath Shrine Board and death of three people and injuries to more than 250 during the past three days.

Home Ministry sources said here today information has been received that anti-national/secessionist elements are instigating people in the valley to come out on the streets and foment law and order problem.

''The Home Ministry is keeping a watch on the events and is in touch with the State Government,'' they said.

The State Government is taking the necessary steps that are required to bring peace and to maintain law and order, they added.

Meanwhile, police fired in the air and burst teargas shells to disperse demonstrators at different places in Srinagar and other major towns in the valley, who were protesting against the transfer of forest land to SASB for the past three days demanding its cancellation.

This is for the first time since 1990 that people took to street in large numbers in the Kashmir valley.

So far, three people have been killed and more than 250 others, including police and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel, injured during the clashes since June 24.

Police fired several rounds in the air and burst teargass shells to disperse violent demonstrators at Natipora and Ram Bagh on Srinagar-Charar-e-Sharief road today.

The demonstrators had blocked the main roads and did not allow any traffic movement. About a dozen vehicles were also damaged.

The police and CRPF personnel had a toughtime controlling the situation as the demonstrators were regrouping again and again, pelting stones and raising pro-freedom slogans.

However, adequate number of security force personnel had been deployed on Srinagar-Airport road to foil any attack on VIP vehicles by the demonstrators.

Police also fired teargas shells at Nowgam bypass to disperse the demonstrators demanding cancellation of the land to SASB. Dozens of demonstrators were injured in the incident.

UNI AJ AKJ CS1515

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