August 2017 News

Schools Closed, Restrictions Imposed After Killing Of Hizbul Leader

14 August 2017
The Hindustan Times
Abhishek Saha

Srinagar: All educational institutes in Kashmir remained shut on Monday, a day after eight people - including three militants and two soldiers - were killed in separate incidents. Restrictions were placed on traffic and pedestrian movement in the old Srinagar area. Officials said the precautionary steps were taken to avoid law-and-order incidents in the aftermath of Sunday's violence. Section 144 of the CrPC was imposed on areas falling under five police stations in downtown Srinagar. Hizbul Mujahideen commander Yasin Itoo alias Mehmood Gaznavi was among the militants killed in an encounter with security personnel in south Kashmir's Shopian district. While two soldiers lost their lives in the gunbattle that began on Saturday night, two civilians suffered fatal injuries in clashes that erupted later. In a separate incident, another civilian was critically injured in a petrol bomb attack at Srinagar's Dalgate area. He later succumbed to his injuries. Separatists did not issue a shutdown call on Monday, which also happens to be the Independence Day of neighbouring Pakistan. It's on the next day, the anniversary of India's Independence, that life is expected to come to a grinding halt. 'Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik have called on people to observe a complete shutdown on August 15, India's Independence Day, and appealed to the teachers, students and parents to boycott all functions related to the event,' a joint statement issued by the separatists said. The leaders also 'warned' the government against forcing teachers, students and their parents to participate in pro-India functions. 'After Allah Almighty, Pakistan is the only visible support to the people of Kashmir,' said Geelani, chairman of the hardline Hurriyat faction, after greeting the Pakistan government and the Kashmiri people on Monday. Gaznavi was named Hizbul Mujahideen commander by United Jihad Council chief Syed Salahuddin four days after the killing of militant Burhan Wani in July last year. Wani's killing led to unrest in the strife-torn Valley for at least five months, killing hundreds. Many of them were civilians. He is the third prominent Hizbul commander to have been killed by security personnel since last year, after Burhan and Sabzar Bhat.