40 injured in Kashmir violence after Afzal Guru hanging
Srinagar, Feb 9 : At least 40 people were injured in the day-long clashes between security forces and violent protestors Saturday, even as authorities clamped curfew on the entire valley in the wake of Afzal Guru's hanging in Delhi.
Defying curfew restrictions, violent mobs indulged in stone throwing at police and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel in Baramulla, Srinagar and south Kashmir's Anantnag districts.
A senior police official said the injured included 23 policemen who were controlling violent mobs during the day.
Three people have been admitted with serious injuries to the super specialty Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences, Soura (SKIMS), in Srinagar city.
Doctors at the hospital said the condition of the three injured people was stable but they were not out of danger.
One of the injured has been identified as Firdaush Ahmed Bohru, a resident of Doabgah village near Sopore town, the ancestral village of Afzal Guru.
The second injured person has been identified as Bilal Ahmed of old Baramulla town, while the third person is Riyaz Ahmed Wani of Burza Hama village in Srinagar district.
An irate mob set afire a newly-built government rest house in the Rafiabad area of Baramulla district. Mobs also took to the roads in the Qazigund area on Srinagar-Jammu National Highway, smashing windowpanes of passing vehicles.
All the local cable operators were instructed by the authorities to suspend their operations in Srinagar city Saturday morning. The internet connectivity also remained suspended in most parts of the valley, although none of the service providers confirmed the suspension of the services.
Chief Minister Omar Abdullah arrived here from Jammu Saturday morning along with junior state Minister for Home Sajad Kichloo and Director General of Police Ashok Prasad. Omar addressed a hurriedly convened press conference in the city.
He said union Home Minister Susilkumar Shinde had called him Friday evening to inform him about the decision to hang Afzal Guru Saturday.
Omar said the home minister asked him to take steps to maintain law and order in the valley and assured him of the central government's support in this regard.
Omar also said that unlike Maqbool Bhat, whose black warrant was signed by the state government in 1984, Guru's death warrant was not signed by the state government as there was no case of terrorism registered against him in the state.
The chief minister said police and CRPF personnel were deployed across the Kashmir Valley to enforce the curfew, but maintained that the army was not called in to assist the civil administration.
Omar said that he had many times conveyed to the central government his apprehension over the fallout of Afzal Guru's hanging on the situation in Kashmir.
Meanwhile, a caller who identified himself as Dr Sadaqat, the spokesperson of the militant outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), told the local correspondent of Zee News channel in Srinagar that the outfit would take revenge for Afzal's hanging.
"We will take a revenge of Afzal Guru's hanging. When, where and how India would not know," he said.
The Kashmir University postponed all its examinations scheduled here Saturday without specifying the next dates for them.
The situation in the valley remains tense. There has been no official word about the relaxation in the curfew.