Curfew re-imposed in Budgam, woman dies

Excelsior Correspondent

Srinagar, July 27: Curfew was re-imposed in parts of Budgam district after a woman, who was injured early this week in security forces action to curb the sectarian clashes, succumbed to her injuries.
Curfew was relaxed for few hours last night in parts of the district where it was imposed on July 23 after large scale damage was caused to the property of both the sects during sectarian clashes.
A woman identified as Fatima of village Dadina, Budgam was injured on July 23 when the sectarian clashes were at its peak and around 25 houses were burnt in several Budgam villages and over 100 houses and scores of vehicles were damaged in the clashes. Police said that the woman succumbed to her injuries in SKIMS hospital early today.
Police sources said the woman was injured when a mob, armed with knives and swords, from Dadina village in Budgam were on rampage. When police confronted them, they also attacked police who were deployed for curbing the sectarian clashes in the area.
Police sources said that the police personnel were surrounded by the mob, including women, armed with sharp edged weapons. “Police resorted to baton charge in order to ensure the safety of the people living in the area and also to save themselves. During the baton charging, the woman was injured”, police sources added.
However, relatives of the woman and residents of Dadina alleged that Fatima was hit with a gun butt. They protested against her death and demanded action against the security forces responsible for baton charge.
The death of the woman has led to a fresh wave of tension in the Central Kashmir district which has been under curfew since the clashes began last week.
Although curfew was relaxed for few hours last night, the restrictions are being strictly imposed today as authorities apprehended escalation in the aftermath of death of the woman.
The clashes broke out between the two sects in Galwanpora, Reshipora and Sabdan areas of the district following dispute over the construction of a village road on July 19.
At least 40 houses of both the sects were set ablaze in several villages of Budgam since the clashes broke out. These houses were set ablaze mostly in Shahpora, Bapora and Qadipora villages.
Large number of houses and vehicles of both the sects have also been damaged in Hakermolla, Sepdan, Dooru, Reshipora, Dadina, Labertal, Garend, Pymus, Qadipora, Shahpora, Chattabugh and Wadwan.
After authorities failed to prevent spread of the sectarian violence Army was called in on July 19 to assist the administration.
This is one of the worst sectarian clashes in Budgam area as it spread to some of the areas first time in the history of sectarian clashes in the district. Residents alleged that a political leader whose popularity is waning in the constituency and may lose party mandate in next elections is trying to create communal divide for gaining sympathy of a particular community.

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