Strike, lockdown as Kashmir mourns civilian killings

Geelani, Mirwaiz, Malik caged; Lawyers stayed away from courts

Abid Bashir
Srinagar, Publish Date: Jul 12 2018 12:07AM | Updated Date: Jul 12 2018 1:31AM
Strike, lockdown as Kashmir mourns civilian killingsPhoto: Mubashir Khan/GK

Authorities imposed a lockdown in large parts of Kashmir Wednesday as the valley observed a near-complete shutdown in response to a strike call given by the Joint Resistance Leadership.  

Schools, colleges, universities and business establishments remained shut for the day and traffic was thin on the roads across all districts in the valley. Train services also remained suspended. 

The JRL comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin malik had called for a strike against continuing civilian killings at the hands of government forces during protests near the sites of frequent gun battles with militants. 

Lawyers associated with Kashmir High Court Bar Association also protested by staying away from various courts including the High Court. 

“All the lawyers stayed away from their routine work today, as a mark of protest against the civilian killings,” said advocate G N Shaheen, general secretary of the KHCBA.

Since Sunday four youth, including a 12-year-old girl were killed in government forces’ firing during anti-militancy operations in southern districts of Kulgam and Shopian. 

The killings evoked sharp criticism from the pro-freedom leadership who accused the forces of committing a “planned genocide of Kashmir’s young generation.”

According to official figures, 106 civilians have been killed in firing by government forces around sites of firefights with militants in the last 18 months. The dead included minor boys and girls. 

The main city center of Lal Chowk wore a deserted look as all commercial establishments and private institutions remained closed. 

Authorities imposed stringent curbs in most areas of downtown Srinagar including Maharaj Gunj, Safa Kadal, Rainawari, Nowhatta and Khanyar. 

A witness said heavy deployment of government forces, mainly the paramilitary CRPF, wearing riot gear were deployed along arterial roads and bylanes to dissuade street protests. 

“Police and paramilitary CRPF men had also closed all major roads in downtown with rolls of concertina wire to prevent youth from assembling in large numbers,” said Reyaz Ahmed, a resident of Khanyar.

Residents and witnesses said police and paramilitary CRPF men were seen patrolling since early morning on all major road links in southern towns of Pulwama, Shopian, Awantipore, Bijbehera, Tral, Kulgam, Khudwani, Redwani, and Pampore.  

In Shopian district, mobile internet services remained suspended for the fourth straight day, a resident said.

“Bikers and the suspicious were being stopped and asked to show their identity cards by the police and CRPF men at various places in southern Kashmir,” a witness said. 

Tempers in south Kashmir districts, especially Kulgam and Shopian are running high in the wake of four civilian killings by soldiers since Sunday.

Authorities also placed all the separatist leaders either under house detention or in preventive custody in various jails across Kashmir. 

Top JRL leader, Syed Ali Geelani continued to be confined to his home like has been since eight years. 

Miwaiz Umar Farooq who was set free for a day on Wednesday was once again placed under house confinement, while JKLF chief Muhammad Yasin Malik who was detained on July 6, ahead of the slain Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani’s second anniversary, continued to remain lodged in police station Kothibagh. 

Rest of the middle-rung separatist leaders that include Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai, Ghulam Nabi Sumji, Muhammad Ashraf Laya and many others were also either under house detention or in preventive custody in various police stations, a source in the resistance camp said.

“The day passed off peacefully,” a police officer said, adding the crackdown on separatist leaders will continue in the wake of their strike call for July 13 and proposed march to the Martyrs’ Graveyard at Naqshband Saheb. 

However, towards the evening intense clashes broke out in Soura area of Srinagar between irate youth and government forces. 

Government forces fired tear smoke canisters to disperse the angry protestors leading to clashes and stone pelting.

A witness said at least five carts of fruit vendors caught fire after a few tear gas shells landed on fruit boxes atop them.

“There were clashes going on in the area. The forces fired dozens of tear gas shells some of which landed directly on the carts of fruit vendors,” a witness said.

“Within no time, some carts caught fire.”

A police official admitted few carts caught fire during the clashes. 

“It seems a tear gas shell landed at the grass where fruit is stored beneath the carts. That’s what triggered the fire. In between, some protestors pushed few more carts towards the one that had already caught fire,” he said. 

Clashes were on in the area till late evening.

Latest News

  1. IPL 2019: Kashmiri Manzoor Pandav among 11 players released by Kings XI Punjab
  2. IPL 2019: Kashmiri Manzoor Pandav among 11 players released by Kings XI Punjab
  1. Disburse compensation to affected fruit growers immediately: Div Com to DCs
  2. Disburse compensation to affected fruit growers immediately: Div Com to DCs
  1. Jammu and Kashmir govt amends GP fund rules
  2. Jammu and Kashmir govt amends GP fund rules
  1. How a Muslim trust is redefining charity, making it meaningful
  2. How a Muslim trust is redefining charity, making it meaningful
  1. Geelani visits native village in Sopore after eight years, reiterates demand for self-determination
  2. Geelani visits native village in Sopore after eight years, reiterates demand for self-determination
  1. Militant involved in weapons loot at PDP MLA's residence arrested: Kashmir Police
  2. Militant involved in weapons loot at PDP MLA's residence arrested: Kashmir Police
  1. Saudi admits journalist Khashoggi dismembered in consulate
  2. Saudi admits journalist Khashoggi dismembered in consulate
  1. China says foreign concerns over Muslim rights unwarranted
  2. China says foreign concerns over Muslim rights unwarranted
  1. Monkeys kill woman in Agra
  2. Monkeys kill woman in Agra
  1. Naxalism will end in next three-five years: Rajnath
  2. Naxalism will end in next three-five years: Rajnath
  1. Afghan officials: Taliban kill 30 policemen in west province
  2. Afghan officials: Taliban kill 30 policemen in west province
  1. Government forces launch searches in Rajouri areas
  2. Government forces launch searches in Rajouri areas
  1. Geelani leaves for north Kashmir to visit his bereaved daughter
  2. Geelani leaves for north Kashmir to visit his bereaved daughter
  1. Pulwama men arrested in Poonch were militant associates: Police
  2. Pulwama men arrested in Poonch were militant associates: Police
  1. Omar Abdullah hits out at Indian media, says Shahid Afridi clearly supported freedom for Kashmir
  2. Omar Abdullah hits out at Indian media, says Shahid Afridi clearly supported freedom for Kashmir
  1. BJP leader Chander Mohan Gupta elected Jammu Mayor
  2. BJP leader Chander Mohan Gupta elected Jammu Mayor
  1. Kathua victim's family drops lawyer Deepika Rajawat
  2. Kathua victim's family drops lawyer Deepika Rajawat
  1. Officer among five injured in oxygen cylinder blast at Baglihar power project in Ramban
  2. Officer among five injured in oxygen cylinder blast at Baglihar power project in Ramban
  1. Jama’at chief-led delegation meets Geelani to condole demise of his son-in-law
  2. Jama’at chief-led delegation meets Geelani to condole demise of his son-in-law
  1. Watch: Narrow escape for police team as landslides hit Zojila Pass on Kargil highway
  2. Watch: Narrow escape for police team as landslides hit Zojila Pass on Kargil highway
  1. Indian, Pakistani origin authors make cut for South Asian lit prize
  2. Indian, Pakistani origin authors make cut for South Asian lit prize
  1. Shutdown in Awantipora over power crisis
  2. Shutdown in Awantipora over power crisis
  1. Weather likely to improve in Jammu and Kashmir from today
  2. Weather likely to improve in Jammu and Kashmir from today
  1. California wildfires toll climbs to 58, over 130 missing
  2. California wildfires toll climbs to 58, over 130 missing
x
This site uses cookies to deliver our services and to show you relevant news and ads. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Service.That's Fine