Thousands of mourners today visited the families of the slain students of Pulwama who were killed on Sunday in forces’ firing, while the district observed shutdown against the killings. People from different areas visited the victims’ families to express solidarity and sympathy with them. A shutdown was Tuesday observed for the third consecutive day in the district, barring Awantipora town, against the killings of a militant and two students on Sunday. Shops and business establishments were closed in Pulwama town and Kakapora areas while public transport was off the roads. Heavy contingents of police and paramilitary Central Reserved Police Force (CRPF) were deployed in Kakapora and main town to thwart any attempt of protests, eye-witnesses said. Though police said the situation “remained peaceful” in the district, witnesses said minor clashes between youth and forces erupted in Kakapora town. However, the magistrate in Kakapora did not allow the police nad paramilitary forces to fire tear gas shells toward the protesting youth to avoid causalities. Police sources in the district said that it has issued an “advisory” to people and “appealed” to stay away from encounter sites. To avoid killings and injuries to civilians, the District administration has asked the police and paramilitary forces to follow Standard Operation Procedure (SOP) during encounters and while dealing with law and order situations. The administration has also asked the parents to call back their children incase they are going toward the encounter sites, and asked the civilians to shift to safer places during such incindets. Two students, Danish Farooq and Shaista Hameed were killed after forces fired at civilians in Lelhar village and Kakapora town after the killing of a LeT militant, Adil Ahmad Wagay of Banderpora village in a brief encounter. The civilian killings evoked widespread condemnation and outrage following which a magisterial inquiry was ordered to ascertain the cause of deaths.
2015 Kashmir Despatch