Developments in the Kashmir Valley

Srinagar: Showkat Ali Khan resident of Balgarden, who was seriously injured in a grenade attack here on February 28, succumbed to his injuries on March 1. An assistant engineer, Khan had received splinter injuries in his head and was referred to SMHS hospital where he breathed his last. Together with two policemen, he was injured when militants hurled a grenade near Fire Services Chowk, Batamaloo.

Gunmen fired upon Muhammad Ayub Wani, son of Abdul Khaliq Wani, near Kakapora Chowk in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district on February 27. Later, he succumbed to his injuries in a hospital. A day later, militants shot dead a shopkeeper, Nazir Ahmad Lone, a resident of Thindum Kreeri in north Kashmir.

A militant was killed in an encounter that broke out between militants and security forces in south Kashmir’s Dadsar-Tral on March 2. “Police and Army’s 42 RR cordoned off Dadsar village in Tral and launched search operations. During the operation, militants opened fire triggering an encounter that left one militant dead,” said a police spokesman.

Night curfew was clamped in Kunzer-Baramulla in north Kashmir after group clashes between two Sunni factions broke out in the area. The situation was later brought under control. Clashes broke out between two groups following some altercation over a religious dispute on February 27, say reports.

“A small confrontation led to physical brawl and within no time clashes broke out between two groups of people. The rival groups attacked each other with stones and sticks,” said police, adding “one person accused of burning an old copy of Holy Qur’an was arrested and an FIR lodged”.

As the trouble began, police and security forces swung into action and saved a mosque from being set on fire by a group of people, said a police spokesman, adding “one house was set on fire. Timely action by Fire and Emergency Services prevented it from spreading”.

JKLF chairman, Mohammad Yasin Malik along with his party supporters observed a day-long ‘token’ hunger strike on February 26 to “register protest against arrest of youth, demanding justice to more than 100 youth killed during last year’s summer unrest and expressing solidarity with detainees languishing in various jails”. Separatist leaders from Hurriyat Conference (M) led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq also attended the hunger strike.

Meanwhile, a two-member delegation of the British High Commission called on Malik on March 2 to discuss the prevailing situation in the valley. The delegation comprised of Victoria Withford, First Secretary at British High Commission in India and Sushil A Aron.

Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) chief, Prof. Saif-ud-din Soz on February 26 asked all politicians belonging to both mainstream and separatist camps to shun their differences and work towards a solution of the Kashmir issue. “The Kashmir issue can be solved if people of Kashmir, more so politicians, voice their concerns in a single voice,” he said, while addressing a rally at Chipora-Lolab in the border district of Kupwara.

Police along with 19 RR and 96 BN CRPF busted a hideout in Akingam-Achabal in south Kashmir’s Anantnag, on February 24. A case has been filed under FIR No 21/2011 under section 7/25 I. A Act. In another incident, police and 29 RR recovered arms and ammunition at Sherbaugh Naidkhai from marshy land in Sumbal on February 27.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-31 March 2011 on page no. 15

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