4 more killed in Srinagar firing, curfew imposed

Front lead

People from Gungbug, Tengpora and Batamaloo joined Muzaffar's family and blocked the Srinagar-Baramulla highway. The police denied any knowledge of Muzaffar's whereabouts and this infuriated the crowd. People spread out mats and sat on the road, demanding the release of the boy.

"At daybreak, the police and CRPF came in several vehicles and fired tear smoke shells to disperse the sit-in. They then made the announcement about the curfew," said Sarfaraz Ahmad, a neighbour. "They (police) told us they had found Muzaffar's body in the stream. They killed him, there were torture marks on his head and neck," he alleged.

The body was taken to the police control room where doctors conducted a post-mortem. "He had blunt trauma at two places on the head. He had been hit before he died," said one of the doctors. "Our conclusion is that he fell unconscious after he was hit in the head and died later."

The police handed over the body to the family early this morning. Agitated, people decided to take the body in a procession to the martyrs' grave downtown. As people crossed the foot-bridge on the stream to reach the highway, CRPF men appeared on the embankment and opened fire, killing 35-year-old Fayaz Ahmad, an employee of the Floriculture department. Another person was seriously wounded. Police took both bodies with them but word spread and people took to the streets across the city.

Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, chief of the Hurriyat moderates, led a protest in downtown city but this angered the crowd because he did not go to Gungbug.

At 2.30 pm, police and CRPF men battled stone-throwing youths in Danderkhah locality of Batamaloo. They finally opened fire to quell the protest. A bullet hit 25-year-old Fancy Jan who was standing at a window in her house. Police said she was watching the clashes when a bullet fired in the air hit her. She was taken to hospital where she was declared dead.

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