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Five Killed, 10 Injured As Police Open Fire On Mob In JK

Poonch (JK): Five persons were on Wednesday killed and 10 others injured when police opened fire on a mob trying to set ablaze a missionary school in Mendhar town of Poonch district, prompting imposition of
PTI September 15, 2010 20:08 IST
Poonch (JK): Five persons were on Wednesday killed and 10 others injured when police opened fire on a mob trying to set ablaze a missionary school in Mendhar town of Poonch district, prompting imposition of curfew in the area.

 Protesting the alleged desecration of a holy book in the US recently, a 3000-strong mob took out a procession in Mendhar town, 270 km from Jammu, and set ablaze the vehicle of a hospital en route, police said.

 The protesters then headed towards a missionary school and tried to set it ablaze, which was prevented by the police.

In order to disperse the mob, police opened fire following which two persons died on the spot and 13 others were injured. One of the injured died on way to hospital, while two others succumbed to their wounds during treatment.

  While four of the injured, undergoing treatment at a nearby hospital, are stated to be in serious condition, six critically wounded were airlifted to Government Medical College Hospital in Jammu for specialised treatment.

"Curfew has been clamped in the border town following the unrest," Jammu Divisional Commissioner Pawan Kotwal said.

 Officials said the mob also set on fire SDO, SDM, tehsildar and treasury office buildings and two police vehicles.

Thousands of people also held protests in Mandi town in the border district today.

 Meanwhile, curfew continued in Poonch town for the second consecutive day without any relaxation.

 Curfew was clamped in the town on the intervening night of September 13 and 14 in view of the tense situation following clashes between protesters and police that left 20 people injured on Monday.

 Additional police and para-military forces have been deployed in the sensitive areas of the border town with strict curfew restrictions.

There were reports of demonstrations in Kishtwar, Doda, Bhaderwah, Rajouri, Ramso and Banihal areas of Jammu region and protest rallies were taken out on Jammu-Srinagar national highway at Ramso area.

 However, there were no reports of any violence from these areas.

 Prohibitory order continued in Kishtwar in the wake of violent clashes which left three persons, including a policeman, injured yesterday.

Srinagar : An uneasy calm prevailed across Kashmir Valley where curfew remained in force in Srinagar and other major towns without any relaxation for the third consecutive day on Wednesday.

"There is no report of any violation of curfew from anywhere so far," a police spokesman said.  However, two incidents of arson were reported in Sopore and Handwara towns of North Kashmir late Tuesday  night. 

Some people tried to set ablaze a revenue office at Sopore, 55 kms from here, in Baramulla district but timely action of police saved the building and the records but the windows of the building got damaged. 

The spokesman said some people set ablaze a municipal committee post at Gonipora-Handwara, 80 kms from here, in Kupwara district.  Barring these two incidents, the situation remained by and large peaceful throughout the night, he said.

At least 25 people, including seven policemen, were injured in fierce clashes between stone-pelting mobs and law enforcing agencies in different parts of Kashmir Valley on Tuesday.

The spokesman said curfew continues to remain in force in Srinagar city, Budgam and adjoining areas including Chadoora in central Kashmir, Ganderbal and adjoining areas including Kangan in north-east of the valley.

 Anantnag district town, Kulgam district town, Qoimoh, Pulwama district town, Shopian district town, Pampore town, Awantipora town, Tral in south Kashmir, Tangmarg, Sopore town, Kupwara district town, Trehgam, Kralpora, Handwara town, Chotipora, Kulangam and Bandipora district town in north Kashmir were the other towns under curfew.

Kashmir Valley has been rocked by violent protests since June 11 following the killing of a teenager in downtown Srinagar allegedly by police. The unrest has so far claimed 89 lives.

 Meanwhile, as many as 33 people have been arrested in connection with incidents of arson at Tangmarg area in Baramulla district, police said on Wednesday.

All the accused were, however, released on bail, a police spokesman said.

Tangmarg, 45 kms from here on Srinagar-Gulmarg road, was rocked by violence on September 13 after thousands of people took to the streets and torched a private high school and several government buildings following reports of alleged desecration of a holy book in the US.

Five persons were killed and many others injured in alleged firing by the security forces.

 Police have already registered a case on the charges of attempt to murder, arson and rioting against a ruling National Conference worker for allegedly inciting the mob before they went on rampage.

Srinagar : After banning news and current affairs programmes on local cable TV channels, authorities here on Wednesday  directed cable operators in Kashmir Valley to take off air all unregistered channels including those from Pakistan.

The order to implement the directive strictly comes close on the heels of the government banning Iran-based private news channel -- Press TV -- after it aired a report about alleged desecration of a holy book in the United States, that led to violent protests leaving 18 dead.

The District Administration said it was only going by the law of the land and the orders of taking off the channels was passed in 2008.  "The order of banning all unregistered channels has been passed in 2008. We have only implemented it," District Magistrate Srinagar Meraj Ahmad Kakroo told PTI.

A representative of the Cable Operators Association said they received directions from the state administration asking them to take off air Pakistani news and entertainment channels.

 "We have also been told to stop airing relgious channels, irrespective of the faith," President of the association Mohammad Amjad said.

 He said the cable operators have abided by the directions of the administration and so far 19 channels have been taken off air.

Amjad also claimed that the optic fibre cable of the operators and power supply to the transmitters were being snapped off. "We fail to understand who is playing mischief by cutting the cables as a strict curfew is in place in Kashmir," he said.  Kakroo said no channel would be allowed to be aired which is not registered with the Union Information and Broadcasting Ministry as required by the law.

"It is not only about Pakistani channels ... any channel not registered with the concerned authorities will not be allowed to be aired," he said.  The state government had on Monday asked the operators to stop airing news and current affairs programmes on local cable channels, which had been curtailed to 15 minutes per day after the present unrest began on June 11. 

Newspapers in Kashmir failed to hit the stands for the second cosnecutive day on Wednesday due to curfew as the movement of the local scribes and technical staff of the dailies was restricted. PTI