Srinagar, Oct 22: Life across Kashmir Valley came to a grinding halt in wake of the shutdown called by Joint Resistance leadership against the â€œcarnageâ€ in south Kashmirâ€™s Kulgam district, where seven civilians were killed after government forces killed three militants in a gunfight.
In Kashmir capital Srinagar, all shops, educational institutions, banks and fuel stations remained closed in response to the shutdown called by JRL, witnesses said. The strike also witnessed thin flow of traffic on the otherwise busy roads of this capital city.
In Srinagarâ€™s Old City, restrictions were clamped to foil any protests against the Kulgam killings. In Nowhatta, Rajouri Kadal, Saraf Kadal, Maharaj Gunj, Gojwara, Khanyar, Safa Kadal and other areas of the Old City, government forces were keeping a tight vigil to keep protesters at bay, witnesses said. At many places, forces have laid razor wire to restrict movement of people.
Hurriyat hawk Syed Ali Geelani continued to remain under house arrest. Mirwaiz Umar Farooq also continues to remain under house arrest. Authorities also placed Anjuman Shari Shain president and separatist leader Aga Syed Hasan Almosvi Alsafvi under house detention. The house arrests were made to foil the possible protests against the civilian killings.
Reports of a complete shutdown were also been received from other major towns of north, south and central Kashmir. These include Pulwama, Shopian, Kulgam, Anantnag, Tral, Pampore, Awantipora, Budgam, Ganderbal, Beerwah, Narbal, Chadoora, Pakharpora, Bandipora, Kupwara, Baramulla, Ajas, Hajin, Sumbal, Kangan, Handwara and Langate.
Many areas of Chenab Valley are observed shutdown against the killings in Kashmir. A massive protest march was carried out in Doda district.
Funeral prayers in absentia were offered for the slain militants and civilians at different places in Kashmir Valley. Hostel borders at Islamia College Srinagar assembled in the premises of college and offered funeral prayers in absentia. Prayers in absentia were also offered at Karfali Mohalla Haba Kadal and Jinab Sahab Soura.
Clashes were reported from HMT, Umar Abad and Shalteng areas of Srinagar city where Forces lob tear-smoke shells to disperse protesters who pelted stones on vehicles and deployed Forces personnel.
A group of youth also targeted plying private vehicles and blocked road near new Mehjoor Nagar Bund, however, the timely action from police saved commuters from the wrath of protesting youth.
Government Forces used tear-smoke shells to disperse youth at Rawalpora Railway Bridge who resorted to massive stone-pelting. The clashes as per reports left many protesters injured.
Pertinently, on Sunday, seven civilians were killed in Laroo village in a blast caused by explosives left at the site of an encounter in which government forces killed three local militants.