Schools, colleges closed today, no exams at KU, internet still suspended in parts of Valley
SRINAGAR: Several civilians were injured during protests on Monday against the killing of militants and civilians and the firing of bullets and pellets on protestors in Shopian district and other south Kashmir areas on Sunday. A 23-year-old youth suffered a severe head injury in Ganderbal during a protest demonstration, an injury that police said was sustained when the youth fell at the edge of a drain while being chased by them. A doctor who treated him told Kashmir Reader that he had a deep wound at the back of his head which was bleeding profusely. “After giving treatment we referred him to SKIMS Srinagar in critical condition,” the doctor said.
Identified as Gowhar Ahmad Rather, resident of Jamia Market Kangan, the youth was injured during protests that were being held for the second consecutive day in Ganderbal. In Shopian, protests marked the entire day and stone-pelting took place in villages where two civilians and four militants killed on Sunday were buried. The first incident of stone-fighting occurred at Bon Bagh, the native village of slain militant Zubair Turray. Eyewitnesses said that the stone-fighting started when youths were hoisting the Pakistan flag at the graveyard. Some police vehicles that were passing through the area stopped and the policemen brought the flags down. The youths retaliated with stones. The ensuing clashes spread across the town. A doctor at sub-district hospital Shopian said that about 10 injured youths were brought during the day, of whom three with pellet injuries were referred to Srinagar for treatment. One of them had pellet injury in his eye, while the other two had pellet injuries on their checks, the doctor said. Protests in the area were still going on when this report was filed.
In Srinagar, street protests began soon after forces deployed in old-city areas began to withdraw. Kashmir University remained abuzz with protests. Funeral prayers in absentia for the slain were offered at many places.
Police foiled a traders’ protest march that intended to reach the office of the United Nations. A group of traders under the banner of Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation (KTMF), led by the federation’s president Yasin Khan, began their march from Lal Chowk but were intercepted by police.
Independent legislator Er Rasheed also held a protest at Lal Chowk. He said that India had lost its moral authority over Kashmir and he demanded the right to self-determination.
A complete shutdown was observed across the Valley for the second consecutive day, including in Muslim-dominated areas of Jammu region. Deserted streets, closed markets, offices, no public transport, were the usual sights.
Mobile internet services remained suspended across the Valley but in Srinagar 2G speeds were allowed in the evening.
Restrictions under Section 144 of the CrPC had been imposed in parts of Srinagar and in Shopian and Kulgam districts. There was no communication from the government till Sunday evening on whether the restrictions will remain on Tuesday as well.
The government has extended the closure of all schools and colleges for another day on Tuesday. Kashmir University has postponed examinations scheduled on Tuesday and said that fresh dates would be notified later. The university has also postponed interviews scheduled for post of lecturer in education on contract basis. According to Dean, School of Education, a new date for the interviews will be notified later.
The authorities at Islamic University of Science and Technology (IUST) also decided to suspend class work on Tuesday.