Riyaz ul Khaliq
Srinagar: Kashmir valley observed a shutdown on Wednesday against the killing of two militants and firing on civilian protestors, that has left two of them dead, by government forces in Pulwama on Tuesday. Some traffic movement was seen in Srinagar areas but the downtown remained under strict restrictions.
Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) commander Abu Dujana, along with his associate Arif Lelhari, died fighting the government forces in Hakripora village of Pulwama on Tuesday morning. As many as forty civilians were injured, two of them killed, after violent clashes erupted following the death of the militants.
Schools, colleges, business establishments remained closed while public transport was off the roads across Kashmir today. Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik in a joint statement had called for a one-day shutdown against the “bloodbath unleashed by forces” in Pulwama.
Reports of a complete shutdown were received also from Banihal town, in Jammu region at the edge of Kashmir.
A Class 11 student, Akeel Ahmad Bhat, resident of Gabarpora in Pulwama, succumbed to his injuries at SKIMS Soura today. He was injured yesterday after hit by a bullet fired by government forces at the encounter site.
In Srinagar, curfew-like restrictions were imposed in downtown areas under at least five police stations.
Some traffic movement was seen unhindered in Batamaloo and Lal Chowk areas. Government offices witnessed thin attendance while all educational institutions remained shut.
Clashes between government forces and protesters erupted in a Pulwama village after the funeral prayers of the slain Akeel Ahmad Bhat. Witnesses said that soon after the funeral prayers, angry protesters pelted stones on a forces’ camp at nearby Haal and the personnel deployed there retaliated with tear smoke shelling.
A complete shutdown was observed in Baramulla, Sopore, Pattan, Palhallan, Sangrama, Sheeri, Langate, Handwara, Kupwara, Kralpora, Ganderbal and Budgam areas. The administration had deployed hundreds of troops on main roads to foil any possibility of protests.
No trains in south Kashmir for 4th day
Train services across Kashmir were suspended on Wednesday for “security reasons”, while trains between Srinagar and Banihal remained suspended for the fourth day for “security reasons”, a senior railway official said.
The official said that all trains running on Srinagar-Pulwama and Anantnag-Qazigund routes to Banihal remain suspended.
“We were planning to run the train service from Srinagar to Banihal yesterday, but a fresh advisory was received to suspend all train runs following the fresh encounter in Pulwama,” he said.
The official said that all trains between Srinagar and Budgam and Srinagar and Baramulla were suspended on Wednesday.