Srinagar, April 4: Spontaneous shutdown was observed on the fourth consecutive day on Wednesday while as police foiled Joint Resistance Leaders (JRL) Shopian Chalo march by clamping restriction in parts of Valley and detaining top leadership including Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and Geelani while Yasin Malik was arrested.
There was no call for a shutdown for today even as the Hurriyat camp (Joint Resistance Leaders comprising of Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, and Yasin Malik) had said that the leadership will march towards Shopian to express sympathies with the families of those who lost their kin to the firing by government forces.
Authorities deployed forces in large numbers in Old City of Srinagar, Maisuma, Lal Chowk, and other sensitive places in the Kashmir Valley to curb protests, officials said.
Geelani and Mirwaiz have been detained soon after they tried to march towards Shopian while Malik has been lodged in the Srinagar Central Jail to prevent their participation in protests.
Shops, public transport and other businesses remained mostly shut in Srinagar and other major towns in the Kashmir Valley on Wednesday, officials said.
Private transport, however, plied in the uptown areas and on the outskirts of Srinagar.
Reports of fresh minor clashes were received today from Memander Shopian, near Police Station Shopian, near Degree College Ganderbal and Tregam Kupwara.
Meanwhile, a 23-year-old youth killed in forces’ action in Kangan town, was buried at around 2:30 pm mid-night after district administration accepted to demands of the locals, sources said on Wednesday.
The youth Gowhar Ahmed Rather succumbed to injuries after battling for life for about 20 hours at the Intensive Care Unit of SKIMS Soura.
Sources said that Gowhar was buried in local ‘martyrs graveyard’ after district administration accepted demands of locals to register FIR against police, released youth arrested following clashes in the area and pay compensation to the bereaved family.
Additional Deputy Commissioner Syed Shahnawaz Bukhari (KAS), who has been appointed as inquiry officer to probe the killing, said that a meeting was held with the family and elders of the area last night. “The demands put forth by them were met and they agreed to bury the body,” he said.
The district administration in Ganderbal has ordered the magisterial inquiry into the cause of death of Gowhar.
The deputy commissioner Ganderbal Piyush Singla appointed Bukhari as the inquiry officer and he has been asked to submit a detailed enquiry report as per Supreme Court and NHRC guidelines within 20 days.
Last night as the news of Gowhar’s death spread, tens of hundreds of people took to streets in Kangan and shouted pro-freedom and anti-government and anti-police slogans. The police fired into the protesters, injuring another youth 22-year old Muhammad Amir Lone from Chatragul. He has been admitted to SKIMS and his condition is stated to be critical.
19-year-old Abdul Rashid Khan from Kangan also suffered pellet injury in his arm and was referred to Bone and Joint Hospital for treatment. Irfan Ahmad, another youth from Kangan, also suffered pellet injuries in the head and eye and has been admitted to the hospital, reports said.
A spontaneous shutdown crippled normal life in Ganderbal district following the youth’s death.
As train services remained suspended for the fourth consecutive day, most of the educational institutions remained closed on third consecutive day today and authorities have also postponed exams scheduled for Wednesday as a precautionary measure in wake of the prevailing situation.
Traffic on the otherwise busy Srinagar-Sonamarg road remained suspended for a second day on Wednesday.
Twenty people, including 13 militants, four civilians and three soldiers, were killed in south Kashmir in three gunfights on Sunday. (GNS)