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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

KASHMIR: Sopore mob takes it out on PDP leaders!

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Shujaat Bukhari, The Hindu / SRINAGAR, August 3, 2011.

Protesters stone vehicles of PDP leaders in Sopore on Tuesday. Photo: Nissar Ahmad
Protesters stone vehicles of PDP leaders in Sopore on Tuesday. Photo: Nissar Ahmad.

People were incensed by the presence of Deputy Superintendent of Police.

Eighteen legislators of the opposition People's Democratic Party (PDP) on Tuesday bore the brunt of mob anger at Sopore town, which observed a complete shutdown for the third consecutive day to protest the custodial “killing” of Nazim Rashid Shalla (28).
The legislators, led by Moulvi Iftikhar Ansari and including Deputy Speaker of the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly Sartaj Madni, who sought to visit the house of the youth were attacked with stones but luckily none of them got hurt. Security guards opened fire in the air, eyewitnesses said.
As they approached Nazim's house, the people prevented them and also locked the door, an eyewitness told The Hindu. Sensing trouble, the PDP leaders beat a retreat but they were followed by the irate mob which threw stones and virtually chased them away. Their cars were damaged and four of them travelling in a Safari had a miraculous escape. One of the guards opened fire in the air and cleared the way for the legislators. A security guard was injured in stone throwing.
Sources said people were incensed by the presence of a Deputy Superintendent of Police, who was supposed to have been arrested in connection with the custodial death. Sopore SP Altaf Khan and four other police officials had accompanied the PDP leaders.
The government has since shifted Mr. Altaf Khan to ensure fair investigation in the case. He has been replaced by Ganderbal SP Imtiaz Hussain. The decision was taken at a high level meeting chaired by Minister of State for Home Nasir Aslam Wani, an official spokesman said.
Later talking to journalists here, Mr. Ansari said the people were angry on seeing the police and they shouted, “Those who killed Nazim are accompanying you.”
“Their anger is genuine and it is against the system of which we are part,” he said adding the National Conference-led coalition government had failed to protect the people and their lives. “Kashmir is virtually a jail where no dissent is tolerated. Police stations are filled with youth who are being harassed continuously.”
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