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Minister's House Attacked; Curfew Reimposed In City, 6 Towns

Srinagar: Police fired in the air and lobbed teargas shells after a mob attacked a J-K minister's house on a day when 20 persons were injured in clashes in the Valley and curfew was reimposed
PTI September 12, 2010 21:49 IST
Srinagar: Police fired in the air and lobbed teargas shells after a mob attacked a J-K minister's house on a day when 20 persons were injured in clashes in the Valley and curfew was reimposed here and six other towns and cases lodged against Hurriyat chief Mirwaiz Umer Farooq. 

A mob indulged in heavy stone pelting this morning on the house of state education minister Peerzada Mohammad Sayeed at Damhal-Khushipora in Kokernag area of Anantnag, 55 kms from here, a police spokesman said, adding police fired teargas shells to disperse the attackers. The Minister, who had gone to his native place to celebrate Eid and was present in the house along with his family, escaped unhurt. 

Sources said police also fired several rounds in air to control the situation as the protesters tried to storm the house of the Congress leader resulting in bullet injury to one Salim Ahmad Malik. 

Curfew, which had been lifted from the entire Kashmir Valley on September nine ahead of Eid, was reimposed in Srinagar city, south Kashmir towns of Anantnag, Bijbehara Pulwama, Kakapora and Sopore and Baramulla towns in the north, sources said. The decision to clamp curfew in the city and other parts of the Valley was taken after a high-level meeting of civil and security forces officials here last night, they said. 

Jammu and Kashmir police has registered three cases against separatist leaders including Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, chairman of the moderate faction of Hurriyat Conference, over burning of government properties by a mob during a protest rally here yesterday. Defying curfew, a mob attacked security forces at Azad Gunj in Baramulla town of North Kashmir injuring eight policemen, a police spokesman said. 

He said a CRPF Mobile bunker also suffered minor damages after the mob attacked it with a petrol bomb. The spokesman said miscreants torched a government middle school Wangam-Kralgund, 90 kms from here in Handwara area of North Kashmir Kupwara district. He said the school was gutted in the blaze in which all the records perished. 

Security forces also fired several warning shots and lobbed teargas shells to disperse stone-pelting mobs at Gawkadal in the heart of Srinagar. A youth named Samir Ahmad Bhat was hit by a teargas in the head and was rushed to hospital, spokesman said.

Another youth was hit by a bullet when security forces opened fire in self-defence to chase away a mob involved in heavy stone pelting at Lethpora, 32 kms from here on Srinagar-Jammu national highway. The injured Mudasir Ahmad Dar was admitted to hospital, he said, adding two policemen were also injured in the stone-pelting by the mob which had blocked the highway.

Stone pelting was also reported at Pothkhah and Khanpora in Baramulla, Boatman Colony in Bemina area, Solina and Soura in Sriangar, Drangbal in Pampore area of Pulwama district and Shopian and Bandipora district towns resulting in injuries to seven persons. 

Rampaging mobs yesterday set on fire some public properties, including the Crime Branch office and a police guard post in Hazratbal shrine as violence marred Eid-ul-Fitr celebrations in Srinagar city. 

Soon after a protest rally was organised by separatist leaders at Lal Chowk, a group of youths barged into the office of Chief Engineer, Power Development Department (PDD) near Exhibition Crossing in Srinagar and set it afire. The adjacent building housing the Crime Branch office was also engulfed in flames within no time and the blaze spread rapidly as the building is mostly made of wood. 

The Mirwaiz has been been charged under various sections of Ranbir Penal Code (RPC), including 121 (waging war against the state) and 153 (wantonly giving provocation to cause riots). Police say participants from the Lal Chowk rally later set on fire three government offices, including the Crime Branch and Power Development Department headquarters. 

Another case has been registered against the moderate Hurriyat chairman and four others for spreading public dissatisfaction at Safakadal police station in the old city. 

A case has been registered against senior hardline Hurriyat conference leader Nissar Hussain Rather for making a provocative speech at clock tower in Lal Chowk area yesterday. The case was registered in Police station Maisuma. However, none of the separatist leaders named in the FIRs have been arrested so far. 

Police had also blamed activists of hard line faction of Hurriyat Conference led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Muslim league headed by underground separatist leader Masrat Alam Bhat for the violence as part of a pre-planned conspiracy to disrupt Eid celebrations. PTI