Srinagar: A 19-year-old girl died of cardiac arrest in Shopian district during security forces action against stone-pelting protestors Monday, taking the toll in the ongoing unrest in the Valley to 92, while a school building caught fire under mysterious circumstances in nearby Anantnag district.
Khushboo, daughter of Mohammad Hussain, collapsed during the clashes between protestors and security forces at Vehil in Shopian district, a police official said.
He said the girl was taken to Shopian district hospital where doctors declared her "brought dead".
The preliminary cause of death was stated to be cardiac arrest, police said.
Meanwhile, Hanafia High School building in Lal Chowk area of Anantnag was damaged in a fire incident, police said.
They said fire tenders have been rushed to the spot, adding the cause of fire was not known yet.
Earlier massive clashes erupted at Chatwathar in Shopian as forces tried to break up a protest rally that was heading towards Vihil to make ‘Vihil Chalo’ a success. Locals said that government forces including army men resorted to heavy teargas shelling and allegedly beat them to pulp besides damaging orchards.
In view of the call of March, the authorities had already imposed strict curfew in Shopian district. During the clashes, a government middle school in the area got gutted in a mysterious fire. While locals blamed teargas shell fired by police for the fire, the police blamed it on protesters. However the actual cause was yet to be ascertained.
Meanwhile, curfew remained in force in five police station areas of Srinagar’s Old City including MR Gunj, Nowhatta, Safa Kadal, Rainawari and in Khanyar. Huge contingents of forces were deployed in all these areas who had erected steel wires and barricades to restrict civilian movement. In other areas of Srinagar, a complete shutdown was observed with all kinds of business and educational activities shut but private transport was plying normally in civil lines areas.
The curfew also remained in force at Pulwama, Anantnag and Kulgam towns. Reports said that besides this, a complete shutdown was observed in all across Valley including north Kashmir districts. There were reports of protests from Botengoo area of Sopore while evening clashes erupted in parts of Old City Srinagar.
According to the spokesman of the Zonal Police Headquarters Kashmir, barring stray stone pelting incidents in Sopore and Shopian, overall situation remained under control today across the valley. “Increased vehicular traffic and movement of people was observed on roads between various districts and towns of the valley including Srinagar city,” the spokesman added.
The spokesman said that restriction under section 144 CrPC remained in force in the valley. However, curfew was imposed under the areas of some police stations in Srinagar city and Vehil area of Shopian District only. “The spokesman said that continuing with its sustained drive against the trouble mongers involved in disturbing the situation in the valley by placing obstructions on roads/lanes, damaging civilian vehicles and shops, police arrested 45 miscreants during past 24 hours,” he said.
The civilian death toll in the ongoing unrest in Kashmir since Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani was killed in an encounter with security forces on July 8, has risen to 92.