Youth Killed In Protest As Valley Shuts Against Modi's Visit

7 November 2015
The Tribune (Chandigarh)
Azhar Qadri

Srinagar: A youth was killed during clashes between protesters and the police on the outskirts of Srinagar this evening even as Kashmir remained shut against Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit. The youth died during protests at the HMT locality on the highway connecting Srinagar with north Kashmir's Baramulla district. 'We received a casualty. He was brought dead and had a head injury,' said a doctor at the Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences in Srinagar. The identity of the youth was not immediately known. Locals alleged that the youth was hit in the head by a tear smoke canister fired by the police. The shutdown was called by separatists against the visit of the Prime Minister. The day witnessed widespread protests and incidents of stone-throwing against vehicles ferrying participants to and from the Prime Minister's rally. The protests intensified in the evening and spread across many localities in the city here and in other districts. Police sources said protests took places at several locations in north Kashmir's Baramulla district, Srinagar's old city, Nowgam and Narbal localities on the city's outskirts, in south Kashmir's Pulwama district and along highways. The shutdown was observed in the Valley as the Prime Minister arrived in Srinagar to address a rally amid heightened security. Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) had called for the shutdown against the Prime Minister's visit if the 'million march', called by the hardline separatist group of Syed Ali Geelani, was foiled by the authorities. Major markets in the region, including Lal Chowk and its nearby commercial neighbourhoods, remained shut. Traffic on all routes in the region remained paralysed in the wake of the shutdown as security forces had laid rolls of concertina wires on roads and had setup checkpoints across the city. Separatist leaders, activists and former protesters remained under detention as part of a week-long security crackdown against them to thwart the 'million march'. Among those detained included senior members of Geelani's Hurriyat and Yasin Malik's JKLF. Geelani was, however, detained by the police today when he was leaving his home on the city outskirts to hold the march, the hardline faction of the Hurriyat Conference group said. He had called for a 'million men march' to reach the TRC Ground, less than a mile from the PM's rally venue in the city. Members of the hardline all-women group Dukhtaran-e-Millat were also detained at Khanyar in the old city when they were attempting to take out the march, said the group's general secretary Nahida Nasreen. Independent legislator Engineer Rashid was also detained when he tried to wave black flags in the city here in protest against the Prime Minister's visit.