SRINAGAR: Even without the call of the Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL), a complete shutdown was observed across Kashmir Valley on Wednesday to protest against the killing of local militants and civilians in Shopian on Sunday and the injuring of hundreds of protestors since. In Kangan area, news of a local youth’s death from injuries sustained during police action, funeral prayers in absentia were offered at three different localities: at the Eidgah, and at Kijpora and Preng localities. At Eidgah, people raised pro-freedom and pro-Islam slogans but later disbursed peacefully. Minor clashes broke out between police and youths at Sindh Bridge. Police chased the youths away by firing a couple of teargas shells. Internet services remained suspended in Kangan for the entire day.
Two youths were injured in protests at Kangan on Tuesday. One of them had a head injury and is admitted to SKIMS Soura. Medical Superintendent of SKIMS, Dr Farooq Jan, told Kashmir Reader that the injured youth is “critical, but stable.”
In Budgam, at least six persons were detained in Beerwah town today during clashes between protesters and government forces. The clashes broke out in the afternoon. A top police officer of the district told Kashmir Reader, on the condition of anonymity, that a few persons were detained during the clashes but they were released later in the evening. Locals, however, said that the youths were still under police detention and had not been released.
In Shopian district, stone-fighting was witnessed in the main town areas of Bonbazar, Gol Chowk and Hospital Road. In Meminder and Shirmal villages, clashes also took place. Eyewitnesses said that the clashes broke out in the afternoon when government forces were deployed on roads at Zawoora and Hirpora. The fighting lasted till evening, they said. According to sources in Shopian Sub-District Hospital (SDH), a policeman was injured and was referred to Srinagar for specialised treatment. The policeman’s identity could not ascertained by the time this report was filed.
In Anantnag, where a heavy deployment of forces had been made, minor clashes occurred in Lazibal area. In Kulgam district, no clashes were reported, but the heavy deployment of forces was maintained.
Internet continues to remain suspended in the four districts of south Kashmir.
In Srinagar’s old-city areas, deployment of paramilitary CRPF and some restrictions on public movement remained. Ali Mohammad, a local, said that unlike in the past three days, people were allowed to move out today. There were reports of some minor clashes as well.
Main markets in Srinagar remained entirely closed on Wednesday. Public transport was not plying on the roads. Schools and colleges also remained closed. Government offices had thin attendance as employees who had to come from south Kashmir could not turn up.