SRINAGAR: Kashmir went into mourning and people held in-absentia funeral prayers at many places on Monday to remember and grieve over the young lives lost in Kulgam’s bloody encounter and the horrific explosion that followed the encounter. A complete shutdown was observed across the Valley on the call of the Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) of Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik, who have also called for public protests on Tuesday.
Here in Srinagar, all shops, educational institutions, banks and fuel stations remained closed. There was only slight traffic on the otherwise busy roads. In the old-city areas, restrictions were clamped to foil any protests. In Nowhatta, Rajouri Kadal, Saraf Kadal, Maharaj Gunj, Gojwara, Khanyar, Safa Kadal and other areas, government forces were keeping tight vigil to keep protesters at bay, witnesses said. At many places, forces laid razor wires on roads to restrict movement.
Reports of a complete shutdown were received from other major towns in north, south and central Kashmir.
In north Kashmir, people in Baramulla, Sopore, Pattan, Palhalan, Rafiabad, Sheeri, Boniyar, Langate, Handwara, Kupwara, Kralpora, Hajin and Bandipora observed complete shutdown. Public transport was off the roads throughout the day. In border town Uri, where 73 percent of voters participated in the municipal elections that were otherwise boycotted in rest of Kashmir, a complete shutdown was also observed.
Chenab Valley towns of Bhaderwah and Kishtwar and Khari tehsil in Ramban district also observed a complete shutdown.
Police on Monday detained Langate MLA Er Rasheed during a protest in Kupwara district. Eyewitnesses said that scores of Rasheed’s Awami Ittehad Party (AIP) activists, led by Er Rasheed, assembled in main town Handwara and staged a demonstration against the Kulgam killings on Monday morning. When the activists tried to march to the main chowk, a police team intercepted them and took Rasheed into custody. He was taken to police station Handwara.
Students of Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (SKUAST) at the varsity’s North Campus in Wadoora Sopore held a protest demonstration against the Kulgam killings.
Train services from Srinagar to Banihal were suspended for the day by railway authorities in view of the shutdown and fears of public protests. Mobile internet services remained suspended in south Kashmir areas for the second consecutive day.