Credit : Faraaz Ashraf
Srinagar, April 12 : Kashmir Valley on Thursday observed a complete shutdown against civilian killings in Kulgam even as authorities imposed restrictions in parts of Srinagar. The authorities also closed colleges and schools, postponed all exams and suspended train and internet services for the day.
The joint resistance leadership (JRL) had called for the Valley-wide shutdown to protests against the killings.
Shops and business establishments remained closed in most parts of Valley while public transport was off the roads due to the strike. The authorities also placed chairmen of Hurriyat Conference factions, Syed Ali Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq under house arrest while JKLF chief Yasin Malik remained lodged in central jail Srinagar.
Reports of clashes were received from several parts of Valley including Natipora, HMT Zainakote, Mochow, Court Road Shopian, Memander, Ajas Sumbal, Drugmulla, Bumhama, near Police Lines Bandipora, Jugilanker Ranawari, Model Town Sopore, Soura. Reports said police and paramilitary force used forces at these places to disperse the protesters.
Lawyers of Bar Association Budgam also took out a protest march against the recent civilian killings including Kangan, Kulgam and Shopian and demanded transfer of Asifa case from Kathua to any other court in the state.
Similar reports of lawyers protest under the banner of Bar Association Gabnderal were received from Ganderal where they have suspended work against the civilian killings.
Students of NIT Engineering College Hazratbal and Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (SKUAST) campus Wadoora, Sopore also staged strong protest demonstrations against the civilian killings in Kashmir and demanded justice for Asifa, the 8-year-old minor girl of Kathua who was brutally raped and murdered in January this year.
“See the height of the Insaniyat (humanity), the lawyers in Kathua protested and prevented the Crime Branch officials for presenting the charge sheet in the Asifa case,” they said, adding, “The continuous innocent killings in Kashmir and the cases like Asifa of Kathua forces us to pick of the guns. If the government will not wake up at the earliest to find the lasting solution viz-a-viz Kashmir issue is concerned then every student in the Valley will pick up the gun.”
Also, to thwart the protests, authorities had put parts of Srinagar including Old City and Maisuma under restrictions.
A police officer told GNS that the decision was taken to maintain law and order.
On Wednesday students of most of the schools, colleges and universities staged massive protests against the civilian killings amid demand for justice for Asifa.
Internet services were snapped in Shopian, Awantipora and Pulwama since yesterday morning while as speed was reduced in Srinagar on Wednesday. The internet was snapped in Kulgam district on midnight Tuesday soon after the encounter broke out at Wani Mohalla, Khudwani.
The railway authorities suspended train services. A railway official here told GNS that the decision was taken in wake of the apprehensions of law and order in the Valley.
Four civilians were killed in government forces action near the encounter site at Wani Mohalla Khudwani, Kulgam on Wednesday. The intense clashes were broke out in the area soon after the news about the encounter spread.
An army soldier was also killed in the gunfight while as two others suffered injuries. The gunfight broke out on Tuesday midnight after the joint team of army, SOG and CRPF had laid a siege at Wani Mohalla. (GNS)
2015 Kashmir Despatch