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12 injured in Handwara lathi-charge

By Shujaat Bukhari

SRINAGAR, JULY 9. At least 12 persons, mostly students, were injured when police resorted to lathi-charge to disperse a large number of people who took to the streets in Handwara today to protest against the "police torture" of a teenage girl a few days ago.

Reports said that students from the Degree College and other educational institutions came out on the streets and marched towards the office of the Superintendent of Police to protest the alleged torture of Haseena Akhtar, a class 10 student, in police custody.

The police, however, stopped the processionists and resorted to heavy lathi-charge and burst tear gas shells. When this failed to disperse the demonstrators, police opened fire in the air.

Three of injured were brought to Srinagar for treatment. Police arrested 30 persons, including a human rights activist. Later the local Bar Associations also took out a procession and the situation in the town was tense.

The Director-General of Police, Gopal Sharma, however, told The Hindu that the situation was under control. "There was some small protest and it has been taken care of."

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