Srinagar: Normal life was affected in Kashmir on Friday due to a shutdown called by the joint resistance leadership against the civilian killings.
Shops and commercial establishments remained closed in Srinagar. Public transport remained off the roads while private transport plied in some parts of Srinagar city. Vendors were seen doing normal business at Batamaloo, Amirakadal, Lal Ded Hospital Road and Polo View. However, complete shutdown was observed in other parts of Kashmir. Authorities had made heavy deployment of police and paramilitary forces to prevent protest rallies.
In a bid to foil protest program, Chief cleric and Hurriyat (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was placed under house arrest while authorities disallowed congregational Friday prayers at the Jamia Masjid in downtown Srinagar in view of call for protests by the joint resistance leadership.
“Muezzin of Jama Masjid Molvi Muhammad Yasin was not allowed to offer Azan. All gates of Jama Masjid were locked by police and paramilitary forces,” said a spokesman of Jamia Auqaf Committee. He said all roads leading to the historic mosque were blocked and that no one was being allowed to enter the mosque.
Clashes between protesters were reported from many parts of Valley including Papachen, Hajin in Bandipora, Qaimouh Kulgam, Kupwara, and Tahab and Tral in Pulwama district. During clashes between protesters and government forces, a girl was wounded after she according to family members received a rubber bullet in her foot. Identified as Shahnaza Hassan she was shifted to Bones and Joint Hospital. A police official however said that the girl was wounded after a stone hit her. Large contingent of police and Para-military troopers had been deployed across Old Srinagar city to maintain peace and order.
Eyewitnesses told CNS that protesters pelted stones on Indian Army Goodwill School at Hajin while Government Forces used tear-smoke shells to disperse them. Clashes after Friday prayers were also reported from Tahab area of Pulwama district. According to reports large number of youth clashed with government forces to protest against the killing of a local youth and a schoolboy in Padgampora. Local reports said that youth, braving snow and chill, took to streets after the culmination of congregational Friday prayers and clashed with forces deployed in the area. Youth according to eyewitnesses attacked CRPF camp with stones and chanted pro-freedom slogans.
A local youth Jalal-u-din died due to heart attack while running for safety during clashes that erupted near the site of a gun-battle in Padgampora village of the districton Thursday. Two militants were killed during the gunfight while a schoolboy was shot dead after forces opened fire to quell protests near the encounter site.
Clashes were also reported from the native village of slain militant Mushtaq Ahmed who was killed on Thursday. Reports said that youth resorted to stone-pelting shortly after the funeral prayers of the slain militant were over.
Resident of Malangam Bandipora, Mushtaq was killed when the vehicle he was travelling in was intercepted at a Naka near police station Bandipora, police officials said. In the shootout, police said, an army major was also injured when Mushtaq fired from the sumo vehicle he was travelling in.
Reports said that people from adjoining areas, thronged Malangam early in the morning and participated in the funeral. Coffin of Mushtaq was showered with petals and almonds amid pro-freedom sloganeering, reports reaching here said.
A police official said that situation remained peaceful across Valley. He denied the reports that any girl in Srinagar was wounded in the clashes. (CNS)