Protester killed in Kashmir firing

first_imgA youth was killed and another injured after security forces allegedly fired on protesters during clashes in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Monday.The forces launched a cordon-and-search operation in over a dozen villages in Pulwama in the morning, following information about the presence of militants in the area, a police official said.At the time of the operation, a group of youth started pelting stones on the forces in some places. Two persons were injured in firing by the forces during clashes in Gusoo village, the official said.The two were taken to a hospital, from where, one of them, Fayaz Ahmad Wani, was referred to the SMHS Hospital here. Wani was, however, declared dead at the hospital, he said.Clashes between the protesters and security forces were going on when last reports came in. The search operation is in progress, he added.Separatists in Kashmir on Monday called for a boycott of the panchayat and urban local body polls scheduled to be held from next month.A statement in this regard was issued after a meeting of the Joint Resistance Leadership comprising separatists Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik at Mr. Geelani’s residence in Hyderpora. It alleged that the Centre wants to thrust panchayat and municipal elections upon the people of Kashmir and that “New Delhi has never believed in empowering the people of J&K or the institutions here.” Elections have “only been a means to further strengthen New Delhi’s hold on J&K”, the statement alleged.Despite similar calls for boycott by separatists, Jammu and Kashmir registered its highest voter turn-out in the last 25 years during the 2014 Assembly election, with an estimated 65% of electorate casting their votes. The last panchayat election in the State were held in April-May 2011, with a record voter turnout of 80%. The panchayat elections were scheduled to be held in 2016 but were put off due to unrest in the Valley.last_img read more