A shutdown is being observed in south Kashmir on Thursday against the killing of a civilian in security forces action this week that separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani has called the “worst example of the state-backed terrorism which won’t be tolerated”.
Parvez Ahmad Guroo, 25, died during a confrontation with security forces who fired on the crowd to break up demonstrations in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Wednesday. Protesters were agitating against the killing of a militant in Naina Batpora village on Tuesday night.
Residents said markets and business establishments remained closed while attendance in government offices was thin. However, traffic on the national highway plied normally.
A large contingent of the central reserve police force (CRPF) was deployed in Pulwama and Anantnag districts to help police maintain law and order.
Guroo’s death was widely condemned by separatists including hard-line Hurriyat Conference leader Geelani, who called for a complete shutdown throughout South Kashmir.
“If Indian forces are committing genocide of Kashmiri youth, the state police is not allowing us to mourn the deaths of our loved ones and are showering bullets on the mourners,” he said, adding militants were “happily and consciously adopting this path of bravery”.
Separatists called for a shutdown in Central Kashmir as well to commemorate the 26th anniversary of the Gawkadal massacre, in which 52 civilians were killed in an alleged firing by security forces on a procession in 1990. Shops and establishments remained shuttered in Lal Chowk and its adjoining areas of Gawkadal and Maisuma. The massacre took place two days after the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from the Kashmir Valley.
(With inputs from PTI)