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Kashmir on the boil
Published on 2 Aug. 2010 12:35 AM IST
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Four civilians were killed and 35 others injured when a mob set afire to a police station, where explosives were stored, triggering a massive blast in Khrew area on outskirts of Srinagar city on Sunday.
A mob had laid siege to the police station, 20 kms from here, and started pelting stones after which additional forces were rushed to the area who rescued the police personnel in the police station.
Police said a loud explosion took place as the protesters set afire the abandoned police station, where some explosive materials besides a cooking gas cylinder were also kept. Four civilians were killed and 35 others injured in the explosion, they said.
The development came as three persons including a woman were killed earlier in the day in fresh clashes even as protest-hit Kashmir Valley remained under curfew for the second day.
Protesters had attempted to set afire a police post in Khrew and take away the weapons. As the crowd refused to calm down, police fired at them leading to the death of a woman identified as Afrosa. Separately, police opened fire to disperse mobs who blocked a national highway and snatched weapons from security personnel in Pampore on the city outskirts.
The mobs blocked NH-1A at Galandar, Kadlabal, Barsoo, Frastabal and Pampore and also torched office-cum-residence of a tehsildar. They set afire a police vehicle and damaged several others.
The protesters snatched weapons from local court guards and also indulged in heavy stone pelting on a police station and security personnel, a police spokesman said, adding the situation turned worse when suspected terrorists fired on the personnel from amongst them.
After a baton charge and tear gas shelling failed to disperse the mobs, police opened fire to quell them. While Nayeem Ahmad Shah died on the spot, two others sustained injuries.
A number of policemen including a Deputy Superintendent of Police of Awantiopora suffered injuries. Another person Raees also succumbed to his injuries later in the hospital.
There were minor protests in some other parts of the Valley but the situation in North Kashmir, which was on boil yesterday, remained calm and as well as in downtown Srinagar.
With today’s casualities, the number of people killed in violence since Friday has risen to 13.
Barring Handwara, Baramulla town, Budgam, Awanitipora and Ganderbal, curfew remained in force in rest of the Valley.
Meanwhile, the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh met tonight to take stock of the volatile situation in Kashmir.
This is the second time in less than a month the CCS has met to discuss the situation in Kashmir where a renewed wave of unrest since Friday -- just when violence appeared to be ebbing -- has led to death of 13 people in three days in alleged police firing and violence.

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