After the Hizb militant hailing from Old city Srinagar was killed in an encounter in central Kashmir’s Budgam district today, chaos amid curfew-like restrictions in Shehr-e-Khaas and civil lines Srinagar was witnessed throughout the day here. Pertinently, three militants, were killed in an overnight encounter in Rudbugh village of Magam area of Budgam district.
As soon as the news about the killing of local militants spread, people mostly youth in the native and adjacent places of slain Hizb militants, Sajad Ahmad Gilkar of Nowhatta and Auqib Gul of Hyderpora amid pro-freedom and anti-India sloganeering took to streets to protest the killings.
Besides, the roads leading towards Srinagar’s Jamia Masjid were sealed by the authorities with erecting concertina wires to halt vehicular movement.
Witnesses said that the police and paramilitary troopers were not allowing commuters as well as the pedestrians to move towards the historic Jamia Masjid here.
The pitched battles between the youth and the forces started in the morning hours at Nowhatta and Hyderpora during which scores of people received injuries while one among the youth in Nowhatta according to the locals sustained bullet injuries in his leg and was shifted to SMHS hospital for treatment.
Local sources informed this newspaper that scores of people also received pellet injuries during the clashes in the area. The injured were treated either locally or shifted to the hospital.
The situation turned uglier after the body of a slain militant, Auqib Gul of Hyderpora was handed over to his family while the body of another local militant from Old city was lying in Police control Room (PCR) Srinagar for hours.
Amid tears and sobs, the ladies at Auqib’s native place were seen wailing and beating their chest in his memory.
The tone of slogans went high after Auqib’s body was taken for the funeral prayers in the area. Thousands of people attended his funeral procession.
Amid pro-freedom sloganeering, the slain Hizb militant was laid to rest at his ancestral graveyard.
Meanwhile, clashes also erupted between the youth and forces on the Airport road after Gul was laid to rest.
The youth pelted stones forces who fired tear gas canisters to disperse them.
Meanwhile, in the afternoon, the body of another local militant, Sajad of Nowhatta was handed over to his family.
Both masked and unmasked youth were seen raising slogans in favor of ‘Azadi’ while they were taking the body of Sajad to Raddipora area here.
While the youth and the relatives of Sajad were taking his body for the funeral, the locals on the way from his home of Raddipora ground offered several funeral prayers and prayed for the heavenly abode of slain militant.
Locals said that the forces already deployed on the roads showered pellets on the funeral procession of Sajad during which several including a photojournalist working for ‘Greater Kashmir’ newspaper was also injured.
The photojournalist according to the reports had received pellet injuries in his head and arm.
Following the incident, the locals who had planned to lay him to rest at the martyr’s graveyard buried Sajad at his ancestral graveyard.
Meanwhile, the restrictions imposed by the district administration Srinagar resulted in the huge traffic mess here which left hundreds of commuters stranded for hours on the vital routes of Srinagar thereby resulted in immense hardships to them.
Hundreds of vehicles were seen stranded on the roads, witnesses said. The commuters said that they stranded for hours in the traffic mess today that resulted due to the restrictions in downtown areas here.
Most of the areas remained under siege today with forces patrolling the areas throughout the day.
“I was stuck for at least half an hour in the gridlock today. It took me half an hour to reach Jahangir Chowk from Shivpora,” one among the commuters said.
Meanwhile, a top Police official said that barring a few stone pelting incidents, the situation across the Central Kashmir and Srinagar remained under control and peaceful.