Thousands attend last rites of Hizb militant
Srinagar, March 29: Normal life was affected in Kashmir on Wednesday due to a shutdown called by the joint resistance leadership against the killings of civilians in Chadoora area of Central Kashmir.
The call for shutdown was given by Joint resistance leadership comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik.
Three persons, Zahid Rashid, Aamir Fayaz and Ishfaq Ahmad were killed by forces for being part of hundreds of protesters who tried to help a militant escape while he was fighting forces.
The militant, Touseef Ahmad Wagay, was also killed by the forces after a daylong gunfight in Zuin area of Budgam district. At least 35 protesters were also injured in force’s actions. All shops, business establishments and educational institutions are closed in Srinagar and adjoining areas while as public transport remained off the roads.
Shops and commercial establishments remained closed in Srinagar. Public transport remained off the roads while private transport plied in some parts of Srinagar city. Vendors were seen doing normal business at Batamaloo, and Polo View. A complete shutdown was observed in other parts of Kashmir as well. Authorities had made heavy deployment of police and paramilitary forces to prevent protest rallies in Chadoora town. Authorities have imposed restrictions in parts of Srinagar city to stop protests.
The impact of shutdown was felt in all the districts of Valley including Srinagar, Budgam, Ganderbal, Shopian, Pulwama, Anantnag, Kulgam, Kupwara, Baramulla and Bandipora. Reports said that complete shutdown was observed in Chadoora, Nagam, Budgam, Beerwah, Aripanthan, Khag and Khansahab towns of the Budgam district while large number of people were seen thronging the houses of three victims.
Clashes between protesters were reported from many parts of Valley including Srinagar city. A youth who was identified as Abrar Ahmed Shah was injured after he was hit be pellets in the head at Rawalpora Srinagar. Reports said that scores of youth resorted to stone-pelting while Government Forces used tear-smoke shells and pellets to disperse them. The youth were protesting against the killing of civilians in Chadoora. Reports said that the wounded youth was shifted to SMHS hospital shortly after being hit by pelltes. Reports said that youth in Saderkoot Bala area blocked Bandipora-Srinagar road to protest the killings.
Clashes were also reported from Parimpora, Elahi Bagh and Karan Nagar areas of Srinagar city. In North Kashmir, clashes were reported from main chowk Sopore while in Yaripora Kulgam of South Kashmir, youth also clashed with the government forces. Reports said that clashes erupted between protesters and government forces in Yaripora after slain Hizb militant Tauseef Ahmad Wagay was laid to rest. Thousands of people had travelled to his ancestral Kanjkul village of Yaripora to attend the last rites. Witnesses said that clashes erupted near Police Station Yaripora. Eyewitnesses told CNS that funeral prayers for the slain militant were offered multiple times to accommodate thousands of people turning from various villages and towns in south Kashmir. Meanwhile, funeral prayers in absentia were held in Ajas village of north Kashmir’s Bandipora district on Wednesday for the militant and the three civilians shot dead by forces in Chadoora on Tuesday. Reports said that scores of people gathered in the lawns of central Jamia Masjid Ajas after Zuhr prayers to offer funeral prayers in absentia for the youth. Later, they held a peaceful protest rally in main chowk Ajas carrying placards denouncing civilian killings.
At Goriwan Bijbehara, Government Forces resorted to intense tear-gas shelling to disperse the protesting youth. The clashes between Forces and protesters continued for hours.
Reports said that clashes erupted in Palhallan and Old town areas of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district. While the protesters hurled rocks, the forces responded by bursting teargas shells.
In view of the volatile situation in the Valley post the Chadoora killings, Railway services remained suspended throughout Kashmir on Wednesday, official sources said.
In the wake of the shutdown called by the pro-freedom leaders against the casualties and injuries during the protests that occurred on the sidelines of the Chadoora encounter, the railway services from Baramulla to Banihal have been suspended, read an official order. (CNS)