Day 15: Shutdown Continues in Pulwama

KL NEWS NETWORK

SRINAGAR

Life failed to limp back to normalcy in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district after locals alleged that administration “back tracked” from its promise as police informed them that they will not be allowed to erect ‘Martyrs Memorial’ in the Shaheed Park.

Pulwama was supposed to limp back to normalcy after continuous 14 days shutdown on Thursday, but during early hours groups of youth used public address system in the district informing people to carry on with shutdown.

Grand Imam Pulwama Markazi Masjid Molvi Muhammad Akram Dar told CNS that after a “successful” meeting with Divisional Commissioner and Inspector General of Police Kashmir Zone on Wednesday, we all had decided to call off the strike. “During the meeting the administration had agreed that people will be allowed to erect a simple ‘Martyrs Hoarding’ in the Shaheed Park. After the consultations with traders and other people we all had decided to call off the strike, but during late hours at around 10 pm on Wednesday, the top police officials of the district informed us that they have changed their idea and people will not be allowed to erect ‘Martyrs Memorial’ in the district. Accordingly, I conveyed their message to the people who opt for continuous shutdown,” Dar said.

“There are martyrs’ graveyards everywhere in Kashmir Valley and Martyrs Hoardings can be seen even at Martyr’s Grave Yard Idgah in Srinagar City. We fail to understand why administration is so reluctant when it comes to Pulwama,” said a trader.

Reports said that to express solidarity with the people of Pulwama, scores of areas in the district including Kakapora, Pinglina, Pohu, Bonur, Newa, Karimabad, Pathan and Tahab also observed shutdown.

Groups of youth blocked road in Kakapora and Pohu areas and disrupted movement of private traffic. Eyewitnesses said that police rushed to spot to disperse the youth; however, they continued to disrupt the traffic on the roads.

Locals from Chatpora, Pirchu, Dangarpora and other areas of the district said that all but 45 youth have been picked up by police and they have been lodged in different police stations of the district. “Majority of the arrested youth are minors and innocent,” they claimed.

Meanwhile, Police sources said that seven minors who had been arrested on charges of stone-pelting were shifted to Juvenile Home. A Police official said that, “no militant hoarding will come up in the town as it will have ‘negative’ impact on the youth.”

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