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Violence in Srinagar, one killed in CRPF firing
Sunday, June 20, 2010 05:01:20 PM, Agencies
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Srinagar: Violence broke out in the old city as an agitated mob tried to set on fire a mobile bunker of CRPF in Noorbagh locality, prompting the paramilitary force personnel to open fire, resulting in the death of one youth and injuries to four others.
"The CRPF personnel had to open fire when a mob tried to set on fire the mobile bunker of 161 battalion in which four personnel of the force were sitting", CRPF Spokesman Prabhakar Tripathy said.
He said the personnel were under standing orders to exercise restraint as they were expecting violence and stone pelting following the death of one Mohammad Rafiq Bangroo last night.
Bangroo (25) was injured when CRPF personnel allegedly beat him up on June 12 during a clash between stone pelters and police at Danamazar locality of the old city.
"The CRPF personnel did not retaliate even after the bunker was rained by stones from all the four corners. It was only when the mob tried to set the bunker on fire, that the personnel opened fire to save four of its jawans who were inside the bunker", Tripathy said.
Five persons were injured in the firing and were rushed to a hospital where one of them identified as Javid Ahmad Malla succumbed, police said.
The trouble started when people returning after Bangroo's burial in a graveyard attacked the mobile bunker with stones, the police said.
Sensing trouble after Bangroo's death, authorities had imposed restriction on the movement of people in the old city this morning.
Despite the tight security arrangements, residents held protest demonstrations as Bangroo's body reached Safakadal, demanding action against the officials who allegedly beat him up.
They insisted that his body be allowed to be taken to Eidgah martyrs graveyard, which was not allowed by the authorities.
They buried the body at a graveyard in Noorbagh. The protesters also raised slogans against the administration.
Protests and stone pelting intensified in the area after the body of Malla was handed over to the next of kin, the sources said, adding the mourners carrying the body of Malla for burial in Eidgah clashed with police and para-military forces at several places en route. However, there was no report of any casualty, the sources said.
Residents of the old city especially in the areas falling under four police stations of Safakadal, Nowhatta, Khanyar and Rainawari claimed that police vans fitted with public address system announced imposition of curfew and asked people not to venture out.
However, police maintained that prohibitory orders have been imposed in the old city areas as a precautionary measure.
As the news of death of Bangroo and Malla reached in civil line areas, people took to streets and shopkeepers pulled their shutters, they said.
The authorities have deployed hundreds of police and para-military forces personnel in the city to maintain law and order and implement the restrictions on the movement of the people, they said.
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