HindustanTimes Thu,21 Aug 2014

Protests erupt in Srinagar against Gool incident

Toufiq Rashid, Hindustan Times  Srinagar , July 18, 2013
First Published: 18:15 IST(18/7/2013) | Last Updated: 18:17 IST(18/7/2013)

Religious groups and separatist leaders have called for shutdown as a mark of protest the killing of seven civilians by BSF personnel in Ramban area in Jammu region.


Chairman of the hardline faction of Hurriyat Conference, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, has called for a three-day shutdown across Jammu and Kashmir.The other faction of the Hurriyat Conference led by Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front have given a call for one-day strike on Friday.

Meanwhile, parts of Srinagar observed a spontaneous shutdown against the killings. Shopkeepers brought down shutters in Kashmir's city centre Lal chowk after the news of the killings became viral.

Loudspeakers in Jama Masjid, Srinagar's biggest mosque, urged people to observe shutdown. The chairman of the Hurriyat Conference headed by Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, who is also the head priest of the valley, called for protest demonstrations after Friday prayers.

Stone-pelting was reported from Maisuma area in civil lines which is a bastion of JKLF leader Yasin Malik. Malik condemned the incident, terming it as "one of the biggest crimes committed by Indian forces in Jammu and Kashmir". He has given people a call to converge at Lal Chowk for a protest rally.

The shutdown call has also been given by the Muttahida Majlis-e-Ulema or a united forum of Islamic scholars. Locals in the area alleged that security personnel stormed a madrassa late on Wednesday in Gool area of Ramban district, about 230 km from Srinagar, and beat up the cleric, besides tearing off pages of the Holy Quran.

There has been no official word about the incident or the casualties from the government so far.
The BSF authorities were not immediately available for comment. Even chief minister Omar Abdullah did not issue any statement on the matter so far.

Meanwhile, members of the Kashmir Bar Association staged a protest. There were reports of stone-pelting from downtown areas of the city.As a precautionary measure, the government has suspended mobile Internet services.


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