Security stepped up as separatists call for shutdown in Kashmir

  • Ashiq Hussain, Hindustan Times, Srinagar
  • Updated: Feb 15, 2016 14:05 IST
Relatives of Shaista Hamid mourn during her funeral in Lilhar south of Srinagar. A teenage boy and a young woman were killed on Sunday during a protest in Kashmir. (AP Photo)

Restrictions were imposed by authorities in parts of Kashmir after the Valley witnessed a shutdown on Monday to protest against the killing of two civilians, allegedly by government forces during a demonstration on Sunday.

Police and CRPF were deployed -- in riot gear -- across the city, particularly in its sensitive areas. Police had blocked roads using iron barricades and concertina wires to prevent people from protesting.

“There is a chance of escalation of protests after yesterday’s deaths. That is why restrictions have been imposed in Nawhatta, SafaKadal, Khanyar, Maharaj-Ganj, Rainawari and Maisuma areas of Srinagar and some areas of Pulwama,” said a police official.

The two youths, including a woman, were killed and several others injured as protesters clashed with police in Pulwama on Sunday.

Danish Farooq Mir (20), who was pursuing B.Tech from Islamic University of Science and Technology and Shaista Hameed (22) who was pursuing post-graduation in Urdu -- both residents of Pulwama -- were killed when security forces allegedly fired on a group of protesters near an encounter site in the district’s Kakpora area on Sunday. Police said that Shaista was killed while being evacuated from the encounter site.

Their deaths triggered outrage in the Valley, with tensions high since February 9 -- the third anniversary of 2001 Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru’s hanging in Tihar.

Separatist leaders termed the deaths as “cold-blooded murders” and have since called for a shutdown. Shops and business establishments also remained closed in uptown areas of Srinagar where restrictions were not imposed.

“The situation in the city is very fragile. Youth tried to come out in uptown Hyderpora to throw stones on police but were chased away,” said a resident.

Traffic movement was also affected due to the shutdown. Rail services within the Valley have also been suspended and the situation was no different in other district headquarters of the Valley.

“There is a huge deployment of police and CRPF across south Kashmir. People prefer to remain indoors,” said Bilal Ahmad, a resident of Pulwama.

(With inputs from PTI)

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