Death toll, now 48, keeps rising amid communication blackout

SRINAGAR: With strict curfew and communication blockade continuing in Kashmir valley, one more civilian succumbed to his injuries on Wednesday, taking the death toll in the ongoing turmoil to 48, which includes 46 civilians and two policemen.

An elderly man from North Kashmir’s Lolab succumbed to his injuries at SMHS hospital Srinagar. Gul Mohammad Mir, 75, from Khumriyal area of Lolab in Kupwara district he was hit by bullet when reportedly forces had opened fire on unarmed protestors in Lolab area four days ago.

Meanwhile, Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik have jointly issued shutdown programme and extended the strike till July 25, Monday.

The unrest continues for the 12th day today after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander, Burhan Muzaffar Wani, by government forces on July 8.

Mobile phones and internet services remained suspended in the Valley, however, only BSNL Broadband and its post-paid telephony services were allowed to operate. Train services also remained suspended.

Meanwhile, newspapers have failed to hit the stands on the fifth day today as government flip-flopped over the media gag. However, the editors today decided to resume publication on Thursday after Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti assured them of freedom to gather, publish and distribute news.

Top Hurriyat leaders including Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, JKLF chief Muhammad Yasin Malik, Shabir Ahmad Shah and others have been either placed under house arrest or taken into preventive custody to restrain them from participating in protests.

Inputs by KNS