Shutdown in Kashmir over youth killing, probe ordered

  • Peerzada Ashiq, Hindustan Times, Srinagar
  • Updated: Feb 10, 2015 20:42 IST

Normal life came to a standstill in Kashmir on Tuesday, a day after a youth was killed in Baramulla district during a demonstration on the second death anniversary of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru. An official inquiry has been instituted to probe the incident.

Describing the incident as "unfortunate", Baramulla deputy commissioner Talat Parvez ordered an inquiry committee, headed by sub-district magistrate Pattan, to investigate the circumstances leading to the killing of a youth Farooq Ahmad Bhat, in his early twenties.

This is first challenge for governor NN Vohra who is heading the state directly after the People's Democratic Party and the BJP failed to form a government because of fractured mandate.

The police also lodged a case to investigate the death of the youth in Baramulla's volatile Palhallan area, 35 km north of Srinagar.

A complete shutdown was observed across the Kashmir Valley over the incident. A strike call was issued by several separatist groups, demanding action against the security forces. The authorities had to impose curfew-like restriction in parts of Srinagar and Baramulla district to stop street protests.

"The governor should either resign over the Palhalan killing or sack the murders in the uniform," said independent legislator Engineer Rashid.

The National Conference and the PDP have also condemned the security forces firing and demanded a probe.

"Such incidents are a brazen violation of democratic norms and have a tendency to prove counterproductive for peace and tranquility. It creates an atmosphere of insecurity and fear among the people and those responsible for this reprehensible act must be identified and brought to book," said PDP legislator Altaf Bukhari.

He asked governor NN Vohra to order a time-bound probe into the incident "so that those responsible for this heinous act are identified and brought to book."

Meanwhile, the authorities will continue with curbs on movement of people and vehicles on Wednesday in the city as separatists have called for another shutdown on the death anniversary of Maqbool Bhat, who was hanged inside the Tihar Jail on February 11, 1984 in a murder case. Bhat was the founder of separatist JKLF.

The police arrested separatist leader Shabir Shah in Srinagar when he tried to march towards the UN office.

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