Complete shutdown was observed across Kashmir valley, on Saturday, on the call of Hurriyat Conference (G) Chairman Syed Ali Geelani. Curfew was reemployed in several areas after violent clashes broke out between state police and stone pelting youth. Anti execution protest demonstrations were also reported from various areas in north and south Kashmir districts. The protestors were demanding return of body of Parliament attack Convict Muhammad Afzal Guru.
As per a local news agency, KNS, around one dozen people have been reported to have received injuries in violent clashes erupting between protestors and government security personals in Kashmir on Saturday.
All shops and private business establishments remained closed while public transport also remained off roads. Hurriyat Conference Chairman, Syed Ali Geelani, had extended the call for complete shutdown till Sunday as a mark of the protest against the execution. He had termed the demand for return of Guru’s body and Maqbool Bhat’s mortal remains as the single point agenda of the Hurriyat.
The commercial hub of Lal Chowk and adjoining areas observed a complete shutdown. All the shops and other commercial establishments in Lal Chowk and surrounding areas were closed.
Reports of complete shutdown were also received from other districts of Valley.
After some fresh protest incidents curfew was reimposed in Maisuma and some down town areas. “Police exercised maximum restraint against the stone pelters. Some minor pelting incidents occurred in Kawdara and Rajouri Kadal but it was peaceful and under control situation”, said SDPO MR Gunj.
Meanwhile, Minister of State for Home, Sajjad Ahmad Kichloo rebutted reports that curfew was imposed in any part of valley. He said the situation remained under control. “There were some minor incidents reported, however, the situation was peaceful overall”, said Kichloo.
Meanwhile, according to eye witnesses heavy stone pelting occurred in main town Baramulla, yards away from the Police Station, forcing policemen to stay indoors. Youth who had already assembled in various streets appeared on main road immediately as Police vehicles moved out of the police station.
The people who witnessed the scene said that youth were aggressive and went very close to these vehicles, “Raising pro freedom slogans while pelting the stones”. They prevented police from coming out of the police station for a long time.