SRINAGAR: A youth was shot dead while six others were wounded, three of them critically. when the Army allegedly opened fire to disperse a protest demostration in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district Wednesday morning.

Witnesses and reports from north Kashmir said a protest demonstration was held by locals of Nadihal village against the highhandedness of forces who had allegedly beat up several residents yesterday.

“The forces prevented fruit laden trucks bound to Sopore from leaving the village. This agitated the villagers who protested against the forces’ action,” a local of Nadihal said on condition of anonymity, fearing reprisal by the forces.

Witnesses said the locals of Nadihal staged a pro-freedom and anti-India protest demonstration against the action of forces. “The protest was going on in the village when a column of Army arrived and opened fire,” said the local.

According to police sources, seven persons were injured in the firing who were rushed to Baramulla district hospital for treatment where one of the injured identified as Danish Manzoor, 22, a resident fo Nadihal village, succumbed to injuries.

“Three of the injured have been referred to Srinagar in a critical stage,” a doctor attending the injured said, adding that the condition of the other three civilian protesters is stable.

The Srinagar-based Defence spokesperson, NN Joshi, could not be reached for his comments, despite repeated attempts. Sources aid the Army’s counter-insurgency forces, Rashtriya Rifles, was involved in the killing.

The fresh killing follows days of relative calm after the authorities lifted curfew from most parts of the Valley, except some areas of Srinagar city and Pulwama which have been on the boil following the killing of Hizb commander Burhan Wani.

The youth’s killing has taken the toll of deceased civilians in the ongoing civil uprising to 71 while over 7000 have been injured with many of them suffering permanent disabilities due to pellet and other firearm injuries.

Meanwhile, fresh clashes have broken out in the Valley, including the summer capital Srinagar where fresh deployment of forces was made in old city’s Nowhatta area where youth took to streets and shouted anti-India and profreedom slogans.

In north Kashmir’s Sopore town, clashes broke out inside Fruit Mandi after government forces allegedly stopped the traders from doing business Wednesdaymorning. Witnesses said several traders were wounded in clashes when forces entered into the Mandi early morning and asked the traders to stop their business activities.

(Clashes in Srinagar: Phtograph Basit Zargar)