On the day when Ghulam Ahmad Langoo, a resident of Srinagar downtown's Eid Gah area, should have been busy serving food and welcoming guests on his daughter's marriage, he's busy ensuring press releases informing cancellation of wedding function is displayed properly by local news channels and newspapers.
January 8: Inayat Khan (16) died in police action when a fierce clash broke out between seceurity forces and militants at Lal Chowk. Police chased
civilians on a bridge near the encounter site injuring Khan, who later succumbed on January 9.
Jan 31: Wamiq Farooq
Chasing a group of protesters near Gani Memorial Stadium at
Rajouri Kadal, the police fired a tear-smoke shell that hit the 13-year-old Wamiq Farooq, killing him on spot.
February 05: A BSF officer shot at youth near Nishat, east of Srinagar, killing Zahid Farooq, 16 on the spot.
"Marriage function scheduled for June 14 and 15 of my daughter has been cancelled due to prevailing condition in Srinagar city. Invitation cards issued may be treated cancelled," says the press release issued by the Langoos.
Langoo is among hundreds of the valley's parents who chose to cancel their wedding functions due to spontaneous shutdown and strict imposition of "undeclared" curfew by the authorities in the wake of killing of 17-year-old Tufail Ahmad Mattoo in police action on Friday last week at Srinagar's Rajouri Kadal area.
Local news channels' scroll advertisement section and newspapers are flooded with press releases canceling wedding parties.
"We had made all preparations. Chefs and Shamiana (tent) are booked. But we fear that guests may not be able to reach the function venue due to strict curfew and incidents of stone pelting," said GA Langoo, father of the bride.
The police have received dozens of calls from frantic parents seeking security cover for grooms' cavalcade.
"Dozens of marriages were scheduled for Monday and Tuesday in Srinagar. On Sunday we did relax situation and allowed cavalcade of grooms to get brides," said SSP Srinagar Reyaz Bedar.
Most of the city marriages were being held in a low-key affair. Instead of huge baraat (guests with groom), two to three people are set out to get bride and do religious marriage rites.
On Monday, the police failed to assure security to any parent. Separatists have called for a march towards Mattoo's house at Saida Kadal to express solidarity with the victim's family. To foil the separatist plan, security forces ensured there is no assemblage anywhere in the city.
A simple wedding arrangement for food and venue costs between Rs 5 lakh to 8 lakh in Srinagar city. The city is set to witness cancellation of marriages worth more than Rs 2 crore due to continuing protests and security restrictions.
For fourth day on Monday, there was a complete lockdown and security clampdown in downtown Srinagar. Police and CRPF blocked lanes and bylanes of volatile areas like Nowhatta, Zaina Kadal, Khanyar, Rainawari, Maisuma, Safa Kadal, Gojwara, Rajouri Kadal, Batamaloo with barbed wires and deployed security personnel in strength to contain spilling anger over the killing of Class XII student.
The unrest has also affected examinations and interviews. Two varsities, Kashmir University and Islamic University for Science and Technology, have cancelled interviews and examinations scheduled till June 15. The state board has also cancelled Class X examination to be held on Monday and rescheduled it for June 25, a spokesman of Board of Secondary Educations said.
Kashmir boy's killing: Post-mortem report points towards firearms as cause of death
The post-mortem report of the 17-year-old boy, killed on Friday in a police action against stone-hurling protesters at Srinagar's Rajouri Kadal area, blamed an "object with circular base hit forcefully on the head" for being responsible for the boy's death.
The post-mortem report of Tufail Ahmad Mattoo --- which the authorities are reluctant to made public despite more than 48 hours have passed since the post-mortem was conducted --- points towards firearms, which includes both rubber bullet and tear-smoke shell. The victim was a Class XII student.
Sources privy to the investigations shared the details of the report with the Hindustan Times. Sources said the report, which has already been handed over to the authorities and Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, rules out bullet as cause of death.
"We have not received the post-mortem report. Will get it soon, maybe on Tuesday," said Deputy Commissioner Mehraj Kakroo. On Sunday, the deputy commissioner had said that the report will be handed on Monday.
Sources said to establish what caused death, the authorities have asked for live shells and rubber bullet from police control room to match with the dimensions recorded in the post-mortem report.
The police on Friday ruled out that the boy died in any police action or by smoke-shell. A police spokesman said: "As per medical examination of the wound of the victim, the case appears to be of a deliberate murder. The police are on the look out of the two persons who dropped the deceased at the SMHS hospital in a Maruti car and disappeared from the scene."
Highly placed sources told the Hindustan Times, DIG, Central Kashmir, Deepak Kumar, has started an internal inquiry to know the cause and circumstances of death. Sources said two constables, who fired smoke-shells on Friday, have been identified.
In the past too, the police made a victim killed in police action as an accused after death. On January 31, Wamiq Farooq was killed after being hit by a tear-smoke shell in the same stadium where Matoo was found in the pool of blood. After the probe instituted by the police, Farooq was declared as miscreant and a case was filed against him. No policemen were booked in the killing. Farooq's parents are battling a case in a court against the police dubbing their 13-year-old son as miscreant.