On Saturday, clashes between rallyists and the CRPF and Special Operations Group (SOG) of the Jammu and Kashmir police at several places in south Kashmir on Saturday killed two youth and injured several. On the 64th day of the violence in Kashmir, the death toll has gone up to 78. The police said that they used force at Tukroo village in Shopian district when the separatists were trying to organise a pro-azaadi rally.

A young boy identified as Sayaar Ahmad Sheikh was killed on spot when he a tear-gas shell hit his head. After the rally was dispersed, violent clashes broke out in the entire Shopian. Earlier, at Anantnag district’s Botengo village, a youth, Yawar Ahmad Dar died of pellet injuries, according to the locals, hit by a pellet.  Thousands of people from the adjacent villages came on the streets and joined Yawar’s funeral procession. The procession was stopped by the CRPF and the SOG leading to clashes.  The clashes took place amid reports that the Army was moving in at many places in south Kashmir and conducting area dominating exercises.

More soldiers are scheduled to be move into south Kashmir in the next few days, top police sources said.

The police and the CRPF have been trying to foil the “azaadi rallies” in south Kashmir, triggering clashes. At Qazigund, dozens of people were injured in these clashes.

Two seriously injured youth were rushed to Srinagar for treatment. The locals, however, regrouped and continued with the rally. In north Kashmir too, the CRPF and the police have been busy stopping these marches. At Hurriyat hardliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s native village, dozens of protesters were injured in a violent clash with the forces.  There are allegations that the CRPF was continuing to use pellet guns as the first option even after Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said that they would be used only in the rarest of rare cases.


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