Spontaneous shutdown, clashes across Kashmir

Spontaneous shutdown, clashes across Kashmir

JRL calls for Sunday, Monday shutdown, Restrictions in Srinagar areas, mobile internet snapped

A spontaneous shutdown was observed across Kashmir after the killing of at least 13 militants and two civilians in three separate encounters between militants and forces in South Kashmir’s twin districts of Kulgam and Shopian. Funeral in absentia were also held for the slain militants and civilians at various places in Srinagar and elsewhere. 

The Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik called for a two-day shutdown on Sunday and Monday against the killing of militants and civilians in three encounters in South Kashmir. Geelani and Mirwaiz were placed under house detention in their respective homes at Hyderpora and Nigeen.

Srinagar:  A witness said that the clashes erupted between forces and youth at various places in downtown soon after the news about the killing of militants and civilians spread. Youth came out on roads, triggering clashes in the areas that include RajouriKadal, NawaKadal, BohriKadal, Nawabazar and adjoining areas. “All the business establishments were closed and transport vanished from the roads in these areas within no time,” the witness said.

The clashes were reported from Nawab Bazar, RajouriKadal, NawaKadal, HabbaKadal and other areas of the city, the witness said. Police and paramilitary CRPF men who were deployed in strength in the area fired dozens of tear gas shells and pellets to disperse the protestors, who offered stiff resistance and retaliated with stones, triggering clashes which spilled over to almost old Srinagar. Eye witness said massive clashes also erupted in Maisuma, Batamaloo, Rawalpora and Rangreth areas in uptown Srinagar. 

The spontaneous shutdown also affected the otherwise busy Sunday market in commercial hub of LalChowk with vendors winding up the business early following clashes in Srinagar. Dalgate also witnessed spontaneous shutdown following the killings. 

Late evening reports said that evening clashes were going on in many old city areas and also in a few uptown areas. Eyewitnesses said clashes broke out at PanthaChowk when youths attacked cavalcade of IGP CRPF with stones. 

Restrictions in Srinagar areas: Srinagar administration has decided to impose restrictions under Section 144 CrPC in 7 police station areas on Monday. 

A senior officer of district administration said the areas where restrictions will be imposed include Rainawari, Khanyar, Nowhatta, Safakadal, M R Gunj. He said restrictions will be partially imposed in Maisuma, and Kralkhud areas as a precautionary measure.

Mobile Internet snapped across Kashmir: Mobile internet services were suspended across Kashmir as a precautionary measure following the killing of 13 militants. As the clashes across Kashmir intensified, mobile internet was abruptly shutdown first in south Kashmir and later across other districts of Kashmir region.  

Ganderbal: A complete shutdown was observed at the main markets of Ganderbal district. Witness said as the news about killing of militants and civilians spread in the district youth appeared on roads at Sunday noon and resorted stone pelting at Kurhama and Malshahibagh localities. Later, shopkeepers put their shutters down at Beehama, Dudarhama and Kangan markets and passenger traffic went off the roads. 

North Kashmir: Scores of youth appeared in north Kashmir’s Palhallanchowk and pelted on forces deployed in the area soon after the news spread about the killing of militants and civilians during separate encounters in south Kashmir. However, forces retaliated by lobbing some tear smoke shells to disperse the pelters resulting clashes in the area.  Meanwhile all shopkeepers move down their shutters simultaneously to observe shutdown in the area, however clashes were going on when last report comes. A partial shutdown was observed in parts of Sopore town on Sunday to mourn the death of militants in separate gunfights in south Kashmir’s Shopian and Anantnag districts Reports said that shops and other business establishments are closed in parts of Sopore town including at Main chowk, tehsil road and chankhan area soon after a group of youths appeared in the Areas and pelting on shopkeepers and public transport to ensure the shutdown in town.

Funeral in absentia held:  A witness said that scores of people, JKLF chief Muhammad Yasin Malik and dozens of Front activisits offered funeral prayers in absentia at Sarai Balla Masjid for the slain militants and civilians. “Funeral in absentia were held in Chotta Bazar area of old city,” the witness said. 

JRL calls for two-day shutdown: Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) called for two-day strike on Sunday and Monday against the militant and civilian killings in Kashmir and terming the killings as “genocide of Kashmiris”. The leadership—Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik had also asked people to offer prayers in absentia for the slain militants and civilians. 

In a statement issued here, the leadership accused New Delhi for the bloodshed in Kashmir, and stated that April 1, 2018 will be go as a blackest day in the Kashmir history. “Delhi’s stiffness and stubbornness to turn deaf ears towards the loud and clear voice of the people of J&K with regard to peaceful, political and legitimate resistance movement, time and again millions of people thronging on the roads and streets amid raising slogans for their freedom movement,” the statement said. 

JRL citing glaring examples of the recent past when the “highly peaceful and much disciplined public processions were dealt with iron fist and military might in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2016 by forces which culminated in the shape of genocide, random arrests of youth, maiming and bruising the thousands of people by indiscriminately showering bullets and pellets on them.” 

Condemning the use of brute force against the peaceful public processions especially in the southern part of the Kashmir valley, Kachdooru, Shopian and Anantnag, the JRL said that these repressive measures can’t deter the freedom loving people from their “sacred cause of right to self-determination.” 

JRL also made a sincere appeal to the freedom loving people to remain vigilant and cautious against the conspiracies to disintegrate the unity among the freedom loving people and the leadership.

With inputs from Sheikh Nazir and Ghulam Mohammad