Four protesters killed by BSF in Kashmir

Last Updated: Thu, Jul 18, 2013 14:27 hrs
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Srinagar: At least four people were killed and about two dozen injured in Jammu and Kashmir's Ramban district Thursday in a clash between protesters and the security forces, police said. The incident led to tension in Srinagar and adjoining Pulwama, Shopian and Anantnag districts with protesters taking to streets.

In a separate development, a cardiologist was critically injured and two police guards killed when militants attacked them in Pampore town in Pulwama district of the Valley.

Four protesters were killed and over two dozen others were injured when protesters stormed a camp of the Border Security Force (BSF) in Shaida Gool village of Ramban district, 145 km from Srinagar, police said.

Alleging desecration of a mosque and beating up of an Imam by some BSF personnel, a group of protesters stormed the camp in Gool town of Ramban district, around 145 km from here.

The guards at the camp fired at the protesters killing four of them and injuring two dozen others, police said.

Ten of the injured, five of them with critical bullet injuries, were airlifted by helicopters to hospitals in Jammu city, 180 km away, for specialized treatment, police said.

Some BSF personnel were also injured in the incident.

A BSF official told reporters in Jammu that a BSF trooper had sustained a bullet injury after somebody from among the protesters fired at them after which the guards at the camp opened fire at the protesters in self-defence.

Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chairman Muhammad Yasin Malik was taken into preventive custody along with other supporters in Srinagar when they staged a protest in Maisuma area against the killings.

As the protesters marched towards city centre Lal Chowk, police intervened to break the protest arresting Malik and some other activists of the group.

Clashes between security forces and stone-pelting protesters also broke out in Pulwama and Shopian towns in south Kashmir.

Police used batons and fired in the air to disperse the protesters.

Protesters have also burnt old tyres to block the strategic Jammu-Srinagar highway at Batote, Ramban and Bannihal towns of Jammu region.

Two government vehicles were torched by protesters in Ramban town.

Minister of State for Home Sajad Kitchloo and Director General of Police Ashok Prasad air-dashed to Gool town to take stock of the situation and supervise law and order restoration operations there.

Senior separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani has called for a three-day protest shutdown against the Gool killings.

Meanwhile, separatist guerrillas shot and seriously injured senior cardiologist Sheikh Jalal at his hometown Pampore.

Inspector General of Police, Kashmir, Abdul Gani Mir, told reporters that Jalal, a former director of the prestigious Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences Soura (SKIMS) was moving on the street along with his security guards when three guerrillas suddenly appeared and fired indiscriminately at them.

The two security guards were killed on the spot while Mir was taken to hospital, Mir said.

Doctors at SKIMS where Jalal was brought and operated upon have said that his condition has stabilized although he lost one of his eyes because of the bullet injury.

Jalal had been provided armed guards by the state government. No guerrilla group has owned responsibility for the attack.

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