Two more deaths push Kashmir to the edge again

Two more deaths push Kashmir to the edge againProtests erupted in Srinagar and south Kashmir on Wednesday following the death of two young men – one in Srinagar and the other in Pulwama – on Tuesday night.

People came out on roads in Chattabal area of Sirnagar’s old city after Reyaz Ahmad Shah, a bank ATM guard was found dead under mysterious circumstances near Shri Maharja Hari Singh Hospital.

Protesters alleged that the guard was shot dead by security forces.

Police said he was shot by a pellet gun from close quarters and had a deep wound in his abdomen.

The death comes after a day of some improvement in the situation in Srinagar that saw the movement of movement of pedestrians and private vehicles on the roads on Tuesday.

In south Kashmir, the situation was extremely tense after a civilian was shot dead on Tuesday night by the personal security officer of an additional deputy commissioner (ADC) on the National Highway in Pulwama.

Farooq Ahmad was killed when the PSO of Ramban ADC Babu Ram opened fire on a group of people who tried to stop their car in Lethpora area.

Thousands of people participated in Farooq’s funeral on Wednesday. Immediately after the funeral, groups of youths started pelting stones on security forces, who retaliated by firing tear gas shells.

The two casualties have taken the death toll in the ongoing unrest in Kashmir to 53.

Kashmir has been on boil since the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani and two other militants in an encounter on July 8 in south Kashmir’s Kokernag area.

The incident triggered widespread protests across the Valley, leading to a curfew and restrictions in the state which was again enforced in many parts of Kashmir valley on Wednesday as well.

Other than the 53 deaths, thousands have been injured, most of them by pellet guns used by security forces to break up protests.

In Burhan Wani’s home town of Tral, people hired a water tanker on Wednesday to wash the road and offer day prayers following a call by the separatists.

Separatists including Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik have issued a five-day protest calendar till August 5 asking people to indulge in different forms of protests including shutdown, offering prayers on roads, painting pro-freedom graffiti and observing blackouts in the evening.