Kashmir shuts to mourn civilian killings

Kashmir shuts to mourn civilian killings
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Srinagar, Apr 12: Kashmir and parts of Jammu observed a shutdown against unabated civilian killings.
Eleven civilians have been killed from past 11 days while on Wednesday four civilians including a minor boy were killed in Forces action when clashes erupted near encounter site in Khudwani Kulgam.
Reports said that shops and business establishments remained shut while transport also remained off the roads.
The authorities apprehending large scale protests had put restrictions at numerous places across Kashmir. Internet services continued to remain suspended in south Kashmir while Srinagar netizens were deprived of high speed internet service for the second consecutive day.
Commercial establishments and offices also remained closed, while government had ordered closure of all educational institutions on Thursday.
All examinations scheduled on Thursday were also postponed by universities including Kashmir University, Islamic University and Central University.
A complete shutdown was also observed in several areas of Ramban district in Jammu region against the civilian killings.
Reports said the highway town of Banihal, Khari, Tethar and Chareel in Ramban district observed complete shutdown. All the business establishments and shops remained shut.
The call for shutdown was forwarded by Joint Resistance Leadership comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik.
Geelani, Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai and Mirwaiz were placed under house arrest while Malik was arrested on Wednesday while leading a protest march at Abi Guzar and shifted to Kothibagh police station.
To thwart possible protests, authorities enforced restrictions in Srinagar particularly in downtown areas. Barricades were put in place to curb civilian movement. Forces personnel were also seen in areas enforcing restrictions.
A vital road link leading to Kashmir’s tertiary care hospital SKIMS was kept open and scattered private vehicles were seen plying on it.
Authorities imposed severe restrictions in all the four districts of south Kashmir including Pulwama, Kulgam, Shopian and Anantnag.
The students of National Institute of Technology (NIT) Srinagar held a sit-in protest at the campus.
Holding placards, the protesting students called for upholding human rights of Kashmiris and putting an end to the use of pellet guns and other lethal weapons of crowd control. The protesting students demanded immediate halt of human rights violations in Kashmir.
Reports said that scores of students from Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (SKUAST) Wadoora Sopore campus staged a massive protest demonstration against civilian killings.The students, including girls, gathered at the campus and raised pro-freedom and pro-militant slogans.
The protesters said that incidents like rape-and-murder of Asifa Bano in Kathu and killing of civilians were forcing youth to pick up guns and stones.
“It is high time that the Kashmir issue is resolved according to the aspirations of people here. Only then peace will prevail in the sub-continent,” said protesters.
Clashes broke out between protesters and the government forces in Drugmulla and Bumhama areas of north Kashmir’s Kupwara district.
Reports said that youth took to streets and staged protests against the killing of four youth in forces’ action in Kulgam on Wednesday.
They said that police and paramilitary forces chased away the youth after vehicular movement was disrupted near Bumhama and Drugmulla due to the protests.
However, youth regrouped and clashed with the forces.
A police official said the situation was brought control and the protesters were dispersed without using much force.
Reports of clashes between youths and government forces were also received from few areas in Handwara town.
Protest was also held in Ajas Bandipora where patriotic numbers were played in different mosques.