Kashmir Shuts Against Communal Frenzy



Shutter down shops in city center. (Photo: Bilal Bahadur/KL)

Normal life was thrown out of gear on Monday as people across Kashmir valley observed a complete shutdown in wake of a strike call issued by various separatist groups and trade bodies against the deadly attack on three Kashmiris who were aboard a truck in Udhampur on Friday-Saturday night by some communal elements.

On intervening night of October 9-10, a mob torched the Kashmir-bound truck at Udhampur in Jammu region in which three Kashmiris sustained serious burn injuries. They were airlifted to AIIMS hospital in New Delhi. The incident generated outrage across Kashmir valley with condemnation pouring in from all quarters.

On Sunday, traders body issued a strike call followed by similar other calls by pro-freedom groups including Hurriyat (g) and JKLF. Mirwaiz led Hurriyat supported traders.

The issue also resulted in ruckus in Legislative Assembly on Saturday.

Minimal traffic plied on roads while shops and other business establishments were completely closed. Streets witnessed scant pedestrian movement as people stayed indoors. Reports of clashes came in from many parts of Valley.

In South Kashmir town of Islamabad, sporadic incidents of stone-throwing were reported in areas like Wurunhaal and Batengo while as residents in Mir Bazar staged protest demonstrations and shouted pro-freedom slogans. In Pampore, there were reports of stone-pelting incidents. Sources said protesters attacked two Srinagar bound Tavera vehicles and smashed their windows while trying to prevent any movement of vehicles along the highway.

Earlier in the morning, fringe instances of clashes were reported from Maharaj bazar in Srinagar and Narabal in outskirts. At Abi Guzar, police swung into action against JKLF activists who took out a protest march against the Udhampur incident.

In press enclave JKPFL held a protest demonstration led by its General Secretary Muhammad Ramzan Khan and others.  Protesters raised slogans against India and demanded protection of Kashmiri traders in Jammu and Delhi.

While terming the incident as an “act of terrorism”, the members were hauled into the police van and whisked away.

Sporadic incidents of clashes and stone pelting were still reported when this story was filed.


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