Kashmir Still On The Boil, Stone-pelting Continues

20 April 2015
Free Press Journal

Srinagar: An uneasy calm on Sunday prevailed in Kashmir where authorities have kept several separatists including Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mirwaiz Umer Farooq under house arrest to foil their plans of holding protests against the killing of a teenager in Budgam district. 'There were minor incidents of stone-pelting in Narbal area in Budgam to protest the firing incident in which a boy was killed but no one was injured in the intermittent clashes through the day,' a police official said. Most of the shops in and around Lal Chowk in the city remained shut fearing law and order problems. Police said the situation across the rest of the Valley remained peaceful and security forces were keeping a close vigil. An uneasy calm prevailed in the Valley as authorities placed Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and several other separatist leaders under house arrest to foil their plans for holding protests against the killing of 16-year-old Suhail Ahmad Sofi at Narbal in Budgam district in central Kashmir. While the Mirwaiz was put under house arrest on Saturday, Geelani continued to be under house arrest for the third consecutive day, police officials said. They said a posse of police personnel had been posted outside the residences of these separatist leaders to prevent them from leading protests at Residency Road here in the afternoon. The teenager was killed yesterday while two other youths were injured when security forces fired upon demonstrators at Narbal as they were protesting against the killing of two youths in an army operation in Tral area of Pulwama district on Monday. Two policemen including an officer have been arrested in connection with Sofi's killing while the SHO of the concerned police station has been taken off active duty. Both Mirwaiz and Geelani had called for a shutdown in Budgam district against Sofi's killing. Geelani, who termed the killing as 'act of state terrorism', had appealed to separatist leaders to assemble at Pratap Park in Lal Chowk here today at 2 PM to register their protest. A group of second rung Hurriyat leaders led by Altaf Ahmad Shah managed to reach the Residency Road here and staged peaceful protests. Geelani, in a statement, said Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed's slogan about 'talks and not bullets' for resolution of Kashmir issue has proved to be hollow. 'Since he (Sayeed) took over the reins, three youths have been killed by the forces. As the head of the Unified Headquarters, he is directly responsible for these deaths,' Geelani added. Meanwhile, JKLF chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik on Sunday ended his 30-hour fast and resolved to oppose establishing any separate township for migrant Kashmiri Panidts in the Valley. 'It was resolved that the settlement of Kashmiri Pandits in separate colonies and ghettos in Kashmir is unacceptable to all Kashmiri Muslims, pandits, Sikhs and Christians as it will create walls of hatred among the communities here and will erode the age old trust between the communities,' a JKLF spokesman said.