A youth was killed at Harnag in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district on Wednesday allegedly in firing by government forces, taking the toll in four-day-long violence in the Valley to 35.
A local news portal quoting chief medical officer Anantnag, Dr Fazil Kochak said that the youth was brought dead to the hospital. Kochak did not take calls from HT.
The youth was identified as Bashir Ahmad Dar of Anantnag.
More than 1,300 people have been injured in the clashes between locals and the security personnel, many of them children and young men. Activists and local residents accuse security forces of using excessive force to quell protesters but police say they’re exercising maximum restraint.
Meanwhile, police arrested Hurriyat Conference chairperson Syed Ali Geelani on Wednesday as he stepped out of his Srinagar residence to lead a march for paying tributes to 21 people who died in a popular uprising in 1931.
The separatist leader – who is under indefinite house arrest – condemned the recent clashes between tens of thousands of people and security forces following the killing of top insurgent Burhan Wani.
“Its barbarism by forces at display, it’s clear India only wants Kashmir’s land and wants to systematically kill the population here,’’ he said.
Geelani compared Wani to freedom fighters and said the militant wasn’t a terrorist but a hero to Kashmiris.
“He is a young brave soldier who laid down his life for his people and their dignity. He is a hero like those young men who fought the British forces,’’ Geelani said.
The separatist leader asked the Jammu and Kashmir police to stop using excessive force. “You are killing your own’’, he said.
He, however, asked people not to harm police personnel and their families.
“It’s against the tenets of Islam,’’ he said. A local newspaper had reported a policeman’s wife and daughter were beaten up by mob at Awantiopora in south Kashmir.
Geelani had called for a march to the historic Naqshband Shahib shrine to commemorate the deaths of 21 Kashmiris who died 85 years ago in an uprising against the then ruling Dogra dynasty.
In their memory, July 13 is observed as Martyr’s Day in Kashmir and continues to be a rallying point for political parties.