Anantnag: Most parts of the town in this south Kashmir district observed complete shutdown for the second consecutive day on Monday to demand release of the youths arrested by the police last week.
Police has arrested over a dozen youths, who were protesting against the killing of the trucker Zahid Rasool Bhat in an attack by Hindu miscreants at Udhampur, Jammu.
Even as the protests against the killing halted on Saturday, people from several localities started protesting on Sunday against the arrests, triggering the shutdown.
The areas observing the shutdown included Mattan Chowk, Reshi Bazar, Achabal Ada, Cheeni Chowk, Iqbal Market and, Lal Chowk, which is the district’s business centre.
The uptown KP Road area, however, remained normal, with markets and traffic operating as per routine.
Amid the shutdown, scores of people, including women, assembled at Mattan Chowk and staged protest demonstrations against the arrests.
Raising anti-government slogans, they demanded immediate release of the youths.
Mirwaiz south Kashmir, Qazi Yasir, who was also a part of the protest demonstrations, threatened to go on a hunger strike if the youth were not released till evening.
“The police authorities had stated on Sunday that the arrested youths will be released after couselling, but it hasn’t happened so far. If they are not set free by evening, we will go on a hunger strike from Tuesday,” Yasir said in his address to the protesters.
He said “it is a shame for the authorities” that women have to take to streets for the release of their sons.
Later, the members of the Bar Association, Anantnag also took out a protest march against the detentions.
Led by the Bar president, Fayaz Ahmad Sodagar, lawyers marched from the District Court Complex to DC office.
Raising anti-government and anti-BJP slogans, they demanded immediate release of the youths.
“This is anarchy that RSS members are allowed to take out arms rallies in Jammu while here the youths are being put behind the bars for mourning the death of the trucker murdered by Hindu fanatics,” Bar president told the protest rally.