Srinagar: Thousands of people attended on Friday the funerals of the four militants slain in Arwini area of south Kashmir. No gun salutes from fellow militants were reported from any of the funerals that were held at the native villages of the slain militants.
The slain militants were identified as Owais Lone from Havoora Kulgam, Muzammil Magray of Wattoo Ahrbal Kulgam, Amir Tantray of DH Pora Kulgam, and Sahir Makroo of Arwini in Anantnag district.
While people dispersed off peacefully after the funerals, in Havoora violent clashes erupted near the newly-established government forces’ camp at Redwini.
Government forces fired pellets and bullets to disperse the protestors, leaving several injured, one of them with a bullet wound. He was identified as 19-year-old Faizan Rasheed Sheikh of Rampura, Qaimoh. Faizan was shifted to sub-district hospital (SDH) Bijbehara for treatment. A doctor there told Kashmir Reader that Faizan was stable and was being treated at the SDH. “He was shot in the thigh,” the doctor said.
Meanwhile, a complete shutdown was observed across the southern region of Kashmir in protest against the killing of the local militants. Internet services continued to remain snapped and train services were also suspended for the day.
An army soldier, Rajendra Singh, 22, who was injured during stone-pelting protests in Anantnag on October 25 succumbed to his injuries today, the army said. Sepoy Rajendra Singh hailed from Badena village in Pithoragarh, Uttrakhand.
Police, however, said there had been no stone-pelting in Anantnag on October 25 and they had no information about the injury to the army soldier. An army official at the Victor Force headquarters in Awantipora, Anantnag, also expressed ignorance about the stone-pelting incident in which Sepoy Rajendra Singh sustained injuries.
In Srinagar, government forces imposed restrictions on movement in several downtown areas and barred Friday prayers at the Jamia Masjid in Nowhatta. This was the third consecutive Friday and the sixteenth this year when weekly congregational were not allowed at the historic mosque.
Early in the morning, without any announcement, a large number of police and paramilitary forces arrived in various parts of old Srinagar and laid barricades on routes leading to the mosque. Police intercepted anyone who attempted to move towards the mosque. Shops and other business establishments remained shut in the area. Traffic, both public and private, was diverted to other routes.
On Wednesday, the Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) of Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik had called for a protest after the Friday prayers. In view of this call, government authorities imposed curfew-like restrictions in areas falling under the jurisdiction of five police stations in Srinagar.
Although no resistance leader had called for a shutdown today, all shops and business establishments stayed closed in some parts of old Srinagar. Some reports suggested that minor clashes took place between locals and government forces in certain areas of the old city.
Mirwaiz Umar Faroow remained under house detention for the 20th consecutive day.
Activists of Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) held a protest demonstration in Srinagar against the recent killings of civilians and militants. Witnesses said that scores of JKLF activists led a protest march outside Dastgeer Sahib shrine in Saraibala area of Srinagar. The protesters were led by the JKLF’s Noor Muhammad Kalwal. The protesters raised anti-India and pro-freedom slogans during the march, witnesses said.
Addressing the activists, Kalwal condemned the killing of civilians in Kulgam and said, “What wrong had an eight-year-old done who was killed in the blast at Kulgam, along with seven other civilians?” He appealed to international organisations for help as Kashmiris were “oppressed, powerless.”
A complete shutdown was observed in north Kashmir areas of Baramulla town, Sangrama, Sopore, Rafiabad, Pattan, Kreeri, Sheeri and some other areas of Baramulla district. The authorities blocked the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad highway near the police training centre at Sheeri and also at Khanpora bridge. They did not allow anyone to go to Khanpora or cross the Khanpora bridge.
Khanpora is a village situated half a kilometre from main town Baramulla on the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad national highway. The restrictions there remained imposed throughout the day. After Friday prayers, minor clashes broke out between youths and police near the Khanpora bridge and at Nowshera area of Boniyar on the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad highway. The protesting people hurled stones at government forces while the forces burst tear smoke shells to disperse the protesters. The clashes continued for some time but there were no reports of any injury.
Local sources said that about a dozen youths in Sheeri, Boniyar and Baramulla were put behind bars by police for disturbing law and order. Officially this was not confirmed.
Mobile internet services which were suspended by the authorities across Baramulla district on Thursday morning were restored on Friday afternoon.
All colleges and higher secondary schools in Baramulla district remained closed today as a precautionary measure on the orders of district authorities. Due to the strict restrictions in place, other private and government schools also suspended class work while some postponed examinations scheduled for today.