Hurriyat leader dies in police firing in J-K

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Srinagar, August 11 : Hurriyat Conference leader Sheikh Abdul Aziz was killed in police firing in Baramulla district of Jammu and Kashmir today, as a result of which curfew was imposed in the region.

Earlier today, two persons were killed and 150 others injured in Baramulla District in clashes between police and protestors who tried to march towards the capital city of Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) in protest against the blockade of Srinagar-Jammu National Highway by agitators in Jammu over the Amarnath land transfer row.

Police fired in the air and resorted to cane charges to disperse protestors at Sangrama when they tried to march towards Muzaffarabad.

Transport is off the roads in other towns also while the roads in Srinagar present a deserted look. Schools and business establishments are closed and attendance in offices and banks is very thin. Kashmir University has announced postponement of all the examination scheduled for on Monday.

Kashmir Fruit Growers Association, Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Traders Federation, both factions of Hurriyat Conference and the People's Democratic Party (PDP) had given a call for 'Muzaffarabad chalo' to neutralise the blockade of the Valley by the Shri Amarnath Sangarsh Samiti (SASS), spearheading the Amarnath land transfer agitation.

Security forces deflated tyres of 200 trucks carrying fruits in Sopore town and used tear gas shells to disperse the agitating fruit growers trying to take out a convoy towards Muzaffarabad.

As the fruit growers refused to give in, police and paramilitary forces fired in the air after baton charge failed to disperse the protestors who pelted stones at the securitymen. Despite the firing in the air, the protestors continued their march, official sources said.

The Government has already put the Hurriyat Conference leaders like Mirwaiz Omar Farooq, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Shabir Shah and PDP leaders Abdul Aziz Zargar, Dilawar Mir and Nizamuddin Bhat under house arrest to thwart their move to march to Muzafarabad.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has accused separatist groups of misleading people on the Amarnath land row and said that there was no blockade on Jammu-Srinagar national highway as claimed by these outfits.

Meanwhile, with improvement in situation in Jammu region, curfew has been lifted in Rajouri, seven days after it was clamped following outbreak of violence over the Amarnath land row.

Police said curfew was relaxed in Jammu, Samba and Udhampur districts and no untoward incident was reported from these places during the relaxation period.

In Jammu and Samba towns, curfew, which entered the eleventh day on Monday, was relaxed between 5:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. respectively.

Under curfew for eight days now, in Udhampur relaxation was given only six hours from 5:00 a.m.

The people took out protest rallies early today and burnt tyres and effigies of Governor N. N. Vohra in R S Pura, Gangyal, Rehari, Mishriwala, Trikuta Nagar, Muthi, Miran Sahib, Bishah, Vijaypur, Ramgarh, Billawar, Lakhanpur and Domail, sources said.

However, there were no violent clashes with police or the Army at any place. There were no violent protests. The situation is tense but under control, the sources added.

While a youth, Tahir Ahmad Lone was killed in police firing in Sangrama in Baramulla, one Ishfaq Ahmad died when police opened fire in Qamarwari in Srinagar city, they said.

Police also opened fire in Kakpura in Pulwama district and in Shirmal in Shopian but no one was killed. More than 150 people have been injured in the firing and clashes across the Valley, they said.

ANI

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