January 2018 News

Kashmir Shuts Against Civilian Killings

13 January 2018
Greater Kashmir
Abid Bashir

Srinagar: Shutdown was observed across Kashmir on Saturday against the killings of civilians in the firing of government forces. Government imposed strict curbs on the movement of people in several areas of Srinagar to thwart any protests. The shutdown was called by joint resistance leadership comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik. The trio had termed the continuous killings of civilians in government forces' firing as 'systematic genocide of Kashmiris.' Four civilians including two women were killed in government forces firing from December 11 to January 10, evoking strong condemnation. Chairman JKLF Muhammad Yasin Malik was detained and lodged in police station Kothibagh while chairman Hurriyat Conference (M) Miwaiz Umar Farooq was confined to his Nigeen residence. Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani continues to remain under house detention. All commercial establishments remained closed in city centreLalChowk. However, a few street vendors had erected their stalls. The movement of public and private transport remained thin in LalChowk. Some shops were however open in areas like Shivpora, Sonawar, Airport, PanthaChowk. Reports from the districts that include Baramulla, Kupwara, Bandipora, Pulwama, Shopian, Kulgam and Anantnag (Islamabad) said that complete shutdown was observed. On December 11, 2017, a lactating mother MisraBano of Handwara was killed in government forces' firing during an encounter. Ruby Jan of Shopian was killed during protests at an encounter site. This was followed by the killing of 24-year-old taxi driver Asif Iqbal of Kupwara who was shot dead in a late night ambush laid by army. The latest was the killing of 22-year-old Khalid Dar of Khudwani in Kulgam district during protests against the killing of a local militant there. The government had imposed restrictions in areas that included Nowhatta, MahrajGunj, Khanyar, Rainawari, SafaKadal while partial curbs remained in place in Maisuma and Kralkhud areas. There was huge deployment of forces in the downtown areas and most of the roads were blocked by the forces by placing rolls of concertina wires to ensure no anti-government protest takes place. Clashes broke out in Khudwani area of Kulgam district after youths pelted a forces vehicle with stones. A witness said that youths hit the streets amid pro-freedom slogans and pelted stones on the forces' vehicle triggering clashes. 'Police resorted to firing of tear gas shells to disperse the protestors. The clashes were on in the area till late evening,' the witness said. Khudwani was on boil a few days back against the killing of a local youth during protests against killing of a teenage militant Farhan Ahmed in a gunfight at Larnoo, Kokernag. Muhammad Yasin Malik was detained along with other Front leader Bashir Kashmiri early in the morning from Maisuma area. A Front spokesman said a heavy contingent of police reached Maisuma residence of Malik and detained him. 'Malik along with another Front leader Bashir Kashmiri were lodged in police station KothiBagh,' a JKLF spokesman said. Chairman Huriyat Conference (M) Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, who was allowed to address Friday gathering at Jamia Masjid yesterday, was once again placed under house detention. Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani continues to remain caged in his Hyderpora residence for past eight years.