Srinagar: A day after two civilians, two soldiers and four militants were killed in Frisal village of Kulgam, the authorities imposed curfew-like restrictions in several areas of South Kashmir to thwart protests. A shutdown was observed across the valley on Monday.
All shops and business establishments especially in Srinagar were shut whereas traffic services remained partially affected.
A few skirmishes between protesters and police and government forces were reported in many areas of Pulwama district and in old city areas like Safa Kadal. However, no major incident of violence was reported from most parts of the valley.
A complete shutdown was observed in north Kashmir with most shops, business
establishments remaining shut in areas of Baramulla, Sopore, Patten, Palhalen, Sangrama, Handwara, Kupwara, Bandipora and Hajin areas.
Clashes that lasted for hours erupted in Palhalan area of Pattan, where locals tried to demonstrate. The forces fired tear smoke shells and empty rounds in air to disperse the protesters.
Several youth in Old City’s Nowhatta locality held funeral prayers early morning for the slain militants and the two deceased civilians in Kulgam. The youth also raised pro-freedom slogans after the prayers but later dispersed without confronting with the government forces.
At least two dozen civilians had been injured in the clashes that erupted against the killing of four militants and two civilians in Kulgam, prompting authorities to impose restrictions in Kulgam, Pulwama and Shopian besides increasing the number of forces deployed in these districts, which were at the forefront of last year’s uprising.
The joint resistance led by both factions of Hurriyat Conference and Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) had called for a state-wide shutdown on Monday and urged people to march towards Kulgam on Wednesday in response to the killings.
The strike call against the civilian killings comes after Kashmir Valley simmered for nearly six months last year against the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen’s militant commander Burhan Wani on July 8 and subsequent civilian killings during the civil unrest that ensued later on.
Reports of curfew and mobile data services were circulated on social media networks like Facebook and WhatsApp, the police, however, clarified that no curfew or online curbs are being imposed anywhere in Kashmir.
Police arrested Dukhtaran-e-Millat (DeM) chief Syedah Aasiya Andrabi and her close associate Sofi Fahmeeda.
Both were arrested from Aasiya’s residence at Soura area of Srinagar and shifted to Rambagh women’s police station, DeM General Secretary Nahida Nasreen said.
“Police arrested Asiya and Fahmeeda at 9.20am,” Nahida said.
Pertinently, Aasiya was under continuous house detention since her release from Baramula sub jail on Dec 21, 2016.