Kashmiris observe complete shutdown against killings

Srinagar: Entire Kashmir observed a shutdown as a mark of protest against the recent killings in South Kashmir and Kangan area of Ganderbal district. All the business establishments remained closed at Lal Chowk. A police officer sustained serious injuries in clashes in Srinagar on Friday even as strict curfew was imposed in downtown amid spontaneous shutdown across the valley.

A series of protests were held across Kashmir on Friday against the recent killings in South Kashmir and Ganderbal district even as Valley observed shutdown as a mark of protest. A senior police officer was seriously wounded in stone pelting near Foreshore road.

Government didn’t allow Friday congregational prayers at the historic Jamia Masjid Srinagar as majority of downtown areas remained under strict curbs. Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani was again barred from offering Friday prayers while Hurriyat Conference (M) Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, who delivers Friday sermon at the Jamia Masjid, was not allowed to proceed towards the grand mosque. JKLF Chief Muhammad Yasin Malik continues to remain lodged in Central Jail Srinagar.

JKLF, Hurriyat (M) protest: Police foiled a protest march of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) at Abi Guzar here against the recent killings in Kashmir. A spokesperson of the JKLF said that JKLF zonal president Noor Muhammad Kalwal, zonal vice president Muhammad Yasin Bhatt along with activists, Muhammad Haneef Dar, Imtiyaz Ahmad Ganaie and others were detained by police when they tried to hold protest against the recent killings in Kashmir.

“Despite police highhandedness, crackdown and oppression, JKLF leaders and activists led by zonal general secretary Sheikh Abdul Rashid managed to gather at Masjid Shareef Abi-Guzar where they staged a peaceful protest against Shopian killings and oppression unleashed on students across valley,” the spokesman said.

Another protest was staged by the Hurriyat Conference (M) leaders and activists took out a protest march at Sajadabad, Chattabal, Srinagar. A party spokesman said that the protest was led by Aga Syed Muhammad Yousuf, Sahil War, Farooq Ahmed Sheikh, Bashir Ahmed Pandit and many other activists. “The protestors were carrying placards displaying slogans against the recent killings in South Kashmir and Kangan area of Ganderbal,” the witness said.

A police officer sustained serious injuries in clashes in Srinagar on Friday even as strict curfew was imposed in downtown amid spontaneous shutdown across the valley.

Police officer injured: Station House Officer (SHO) Nigeen, Manzoor Ahmad on Friday sustained injuries during the clashes between youth and forces even as strict curbs were in pace in downtown. “Our colleague SHO Nageen Inspector Manzoor got injured today morning in a stone pelting incident. He is being treated in hospital. We pray for his speedy recovery,” Kashmir zone police tweeted. The incident took place at Foreshore road as youth hit streets and pelted stones on the forces, a police source said.

Curbs in downtown/No prayers at Jamia Masjid: The government did not allow Friday congregational prayers at historic Jamia masjid. A source said that this is for the fifth time that Friday prayers have not been allowed at Jamia Masjid within a span of just three months this year. Police said restrictions were put in place in the areas falling under the jurisdictions of police stations of Maharaj Gunj, Safakadal, Nowhatta, Khanyar and Rainawari. Restrictions also remained in place in parts of areas falling under police station Maisuma and Kral-Khud areas. A witness said that forces had closed roads leading to down with barbed wires.

Kashmir shuts: Entire Kashmir observed a shutdown as a mark of protest against the recent killings in South Kashmir and Kangan area of Ganderbal district. All the business establishments remained closed at Lal Chowk. Reports said that complete shutdown was also observed in South districts, Ganderbal and northern districts of Kashmir that affected the normal life. All shops, commercial establishments and schools remained shut. The government had already announced the closure of educational institutions as a precautionary measure.

A source said that a civilian was injured in Kalampora of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district. He said the incident took place when youth resorted to stone pelting on a forces’ vehicle, forces retailed with aerial firing. However, sources said the youth was not injured with bullet. People accused forces of harassment. Meanwhile, five people were injured as forces resorted to teargas and pellets, one person among the injured with pellet injuries was referred to hospital. The witness said that people took out peaceful protest from Jamia Masjid Shopian and dispersed peacefully.

Ramban shuts: On the call of JRL, Banihal town observed shutdown against civilian killings in Shopian. A witness said that all the shops business establishments remained closed in protest against the killings in Kashmir. “Traffic on the link roads was very thin while as schools, offices witnessed less attendance,” the witness said. Talking to Greater Kashmir, a police official said that the bandh was peaceful. No untoward incident was reported from Tehsil Banihal.
JRL resolution passed unanimously: The resolution framed by the Joint Resistance Leadership comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik was read and passed unanimously across masjids, shrines and Imam Baras across Kashmir “amid a pledge that despite repressive measures, the struggle of Kashmiri people for the right to self-determination will continue on all fronts till the final goal is achieved.”

“Special prayers were held for the civilians killed in injured in force’s action in South Kashmir and Kangan, Ganderbal,” a JRL statement issued here said.

Evening Clashes in Downtown: A witness said that as soon as the deployment of forces was being withdrawn from various downtown areas in the evening, scores of youth hit the streets and hurled bricks and rocks on the forces triggering massive clashes. “Forces fired dozens of tear gas shells at Nawa Kadal, Safa Kadal, Seki Dafar and other adjoining areas,” a witness said. Reports of late evening clashes also poured in from Jinab Sahab (RA) Soura area where forces resorted to firing of dozens of tear canisters in which three youth sustained injuries. “Clashes in the area were on till late evening,” said a witness.

Authorities announced on Friday that all schools up to high school level will remain open and all higher secondary schools and colleges will remain closed on Saturday. Kashmir University has suspended class work and suspended all exams scheduled on Saturday. However, all schools in Pulwama and Shopian districts would remain closed. A few schools in Ganderbal would also remain shut.

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