Handwara Killings: Kashmir Shuts on Second Consecutive Day

Mohammad Raafi

SRINAGAR

The civilian killings in North Kashmir’s Handwara evoked complete shutdown across Valley on Thursday.

Four civilians were shot dead in last two days after protests erupted in Handwara town following allegations of molestation by an army man on Tuesday afternoon.

The shutdown call was given by various separatist groups to protests the Handwara killings by men in uniform.

The Srinagar district administration imposed strict curbs on movement of people in areas falling under six police stations in Old Srinagar to prevent protests over Handwara killings.

All commercial establishments in Srinagar and elsewhere are closed for the day while very thin traffic plied on Srinagar and other roads.

While public transport is off the roads, the city’s commercial hub Lal Chowk wears a deserted look.

The Srinagar areas that remained under restrictions for the second day today included Mahrajgunj, Rainwarai, Safa Kadal, Nowhatta Khanyar and Maisuma.

Reports said clashes erupted in Habba Kadal between forces and youth. Police fired many tear-gas shells to disperse the protestors who were lobbing bricks and stones at the cops.

Reports reaching from Baramulla, Kupwara, Pulwama, Shopian, Kulgam and Islamabad districts said complete shutdown was being observed there against the Handwara killings.

Authorities had made massive deployments of police and para-military forces places like Pulwama, Baramulla, Sopore and Kupwara towns to ensure that any law and order problem is not created.

Separatist leaders including Syed Ali Geelani and Muhammad Yasin Malik have asked people to hold protests after Friday prayers while Mirwaiz Umar Farooq has said that he will lead a rally in Nowhatta area after congregational Friday prayers.

Authorities clamped down on mobile internet services since late Wednesday evening.

Meanwhile, all the separatist leaders continued to remain under house detention or in police stations. While Hurriyat Conference (g) chairperson Syed Ali Geelani continues to remain under house arrest at his Hyderpora residence, Hurriyat Conference (m) chairperson Mirwaiz Umar Farooq is under house arrest at his Nigeen residence for the past three days.

JKLF chief Muhammad Yasin Malik has been lodged in police station Kothibagh along with several Front leaders.

In Hurriyat (g) camp, senior leaders Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai and Peer Saifullah too are under house arrest.

In Hurriyat (m) camp, Javaid Ahmed Mir has been placed under house arrest while many senior leaders of the amalgam have been lodged in a police station.

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