Curfew in Kashmir after security forces kill youth

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In the wake of a youth’s death on Tuesday in Kashmir’s northern town of Baramulla after security forces opened fire, authorities imposed curfew in many areas across the valley on Wednesday.

“Curfew has been imposed in Rainawari, Nowhatta, SR.Gunj, Safa Kadal, Maisuma, Kralkhud and Zadibal police stations areas of Srinagar city today. Curfew has also been imposed in Baramulla, Sopore, Pulwama and Kulgam towns.

Reports from other major towns of the valley state that police and central reserve police force (CRPF) have been deployed in strength to maintain law and order.

Tahir Lateef Sofi, 24, was killed in a firing incident at Chati Padshahi Bridge in north Kashmir’s Baramulla town, allegedly by the Army, during protests on Tuesday evening.

Residents of the area said a group of locals started the protest gathering in Kakar Hammam area of the town after homes were ransacked and parked vehicles smashed, allegedly by security forces, and there was firing in the air from security personnel to quell the protest.

Thousands of people later gathered in the town and attacked the office of the district magistrate demanding action against those involved in the killing of the youth.

The district magistrate has ordered a magisterial enquiry into the firing incident. Baramulla police have also registered an FIR against those security personnel responsible for the firing.

State chief minister Omar Abdullah has again reiterated his demand for the partial revocation of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) that gives blanket immunity to the Army and the paramilitary forces deployed to fight militancy in areas declared “disturbed” under the act.

The chief minister broke down in the state legislative assembly on Tuesday when the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) staged a walkout over the Baramulla youth’s killing. Omar Abdhullah promised that those responsible for the killing would be brought to justice.

The chief minister later dispelled rumors that he had decided to resign over the issue. Omar Abdullah had tweeted that “if stepping down as chief minister could bring a man back to life, he would resign in a flash”.