Shutdown cripples life across Kashmir

Shutdown cripples life across Kashmir
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Qasim Bazaz

Srinagar, Oct 25: Life across the Valley remained paralyzed on Thursday due to a shutdown called by joint resistance leadership (JRL) against the killing of two Hizbul Mujahideen militants in an encounter with government forces on Wednesday.
Reports said that all shops, business establishments and petrol pumps remained closed here while the public transport was off the roads in response to the shutdown called by JRL against the killing of Hizb militant Dr Sabzar Ahmad Sofi and his associate Asif Shergojri in an encounter with government forces in Nowgam here on Wednesday. Due to the shutdown, there was a thin attendance of employees in government offices, reports said.
Reports said that stringent security measures were put in place in most parts of the areas in downtown here.
Hundreds of paramilitary personnel and policemen in riot gear maintained strict vigil around the volatile places of downtown, including Nowhatta, Gojwara, Saraf Kadal, Kawdara, and Rajouri Kadal.
However, despite heightened security, groups of youth hit streets at Soura Rambagh, Chattabal, Bagh-e-Mehtab, Nowgam and other places and staged pro-freedom demonstrations, witnesses said.
The protesters pelted stones on the government forces while the latter lobbed tear smoke shells to disperse the youth. However, no one was reported seriously hurt in the pitched battles that continued for several hours,” they added.
Clashes between protesters and government forces were also reported from Khwaja Bagh, Kreeri, and Ladura area of Sopore in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district, where a complete shutdown was observed on the JRL call.
Reports from south Kashmir said that paramilitary CRPF men and police was deployed in huge numbers in the four districts of Pulwama, Shopian, Kulgam and Anantnag to prevent people from holding anti-India protests, even as all commercial establishments remained closed in response to the call given JRL.
Due to the shutdown, train service between Srinagar to Banihal and Srinagar to Baramulla was suspended today amid apprehensions of protests against the fresh killing spree. (GNS)