A complete shutdown was Thursday observed in Srinagar and South Kashmir against Gow Kadal massacre and the killing of civilian in a Pulwama Village on Wednesday. In Srinagar city, shops, government offices and business establishments in the commercial hub of Lal Chowk and other adjacent areas remained closed while traffic remained off the roads, eye-witnesses said. The educational institutions too remained closed in response to the strike call. However, private vehicular movement played normally. According to eyewitnesses, “In different areas of Old Srinagar city including Nowhatta, Kral Khud, Gow Kadal, Khanyar and Rajouri Kadal police and paramilitary CRPF men were deployed in large numbers to thwart any untoward incident in the respective areas. A protest rally was carried out by the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front Chief, Muhammad Yasin Malik from his residence to Gow Kadal in which hundreds of people including JKLF activists participated. International Forum for Justice and Human Rights led by Muhammad Ahsan Untoo also held a protest at Gow Kadal in which scores of persons including activists took part. Hurriyat Conference JK led by Shabir Ahmad Dar also held protest at Gow Kadal here on the 26 death anniversary of the victims who lost their lives in 1990 Gow Kadal massacre. Several Hurriyat leaders also stage protest at Gow Kadal and were demanding for stopping violation of human rights in the state. Reports said, “Stone pelting erupted between forces and youth in Srinagar’s Habba Kadal and Maisuma area. Forces use tear smoke shells to disperse the youth.” South Kashmir also observed complete shutdown against the killing of civilian and the militant killed in Naina village of Pulwama. However, reports said that Pulwama town defied shutdown call saying that during the period of 16 day long strike in Pulwama, no Hurriyat leader supported them. “Why should we follow the call given by Hurriyat leaders who failed to support us during the 16 day long strike in the area,” traders and residents said. According to the KNS correspondent, “Complete shutdown was observed in Pulwama, Anantnag, Kulgam and Shopian districts. All the schools, shops, banks and other business establishments remained closed, while thin attendance was observed in governmental offices. Most of the roads wore a deserted look.” “In the wee hours of Thursday, pitching battles erupted between angry youth and forces in Kakpora area of Pulwama district,” eye-witnesses told KNS. Meanwhile, Inspector General of Police (IGP), Javaid Mujtaba Gilani told KNS that the situation across South Kashmir and Srinagar city remained peaceful. While replying to a query about the civilian killing in Pulwama on Wednesday, IGP said, “Investigation in the case is going on.” The shutdown call was given by Hurriyat (G) Chairman, Syed Ali Geelani against January 21, 1990 Gow Kadal massacre and the civilian killing in a Pulwama Village on Wednesday.
2015 Kashmir Despatch