KL NEWS NETWORK
Kashmir as well as Chenab Valleys observed a shutdown on Saturday over protests demanding that Village Defence Committees (VDCs) be disbanded following the killing of three people, including a 4-year-old boy, in the past week in Rajouri district.
The call for shutdown was given by Hurriyat patriarch Syed Ali Geelani and it was supported by various separatist organizations.
Reports said that shops and business establishments remained shut in city centre Lal Chowk while public transport was minimal. However, majority of the shops were seen open in different Civil Lines areas including Jawahar Nagar and Raj Bagh.
Police had laid out concertina wires at many sensitive spots in the capital Srinagar to prevent further agitation against what protesters have termed the “terrorism” of VDCs.
The Valley witnessed protests on Friday against the terror unleashed by VDC’s in Chenab Valley.
Pertinently, Shamim Akhtar, a 36-year-old woman from Samote village and her 4-year old son were killed by Mushtaq Ahmad, a VDC member, using his service rifle in Rajouri on Thursday. Police attributed the murder to personal rivalry between Mushtaq, a barber, and Akhtar’s family.
The double murder was the second instance of its kind since December 19 when another VDC member, Kewal Sharma, shot dead a National Conference youth activist, Ishtiyaq Choudhary, in Kalakote after an altercation over ration distribution.
Reports said that stone-pelting incidents occurred at many places including HMT and Narbal on Srinagar-Baramulla road. A Police official said that some protesters pelted stones on the vehicles plying the road, however, the swift action from police forced them to retreat.
Besides Srinagar, the shutdown was also observed in different districts of Valley. Reports said that a complete shutdown was observed in Muslim majority areas of Chenab Valley including Doda, Kishtwar, Bhadarwah and Rajouri, Poonch. (CNS)