Sikhs staged angry protests and raised pro-Khalistan slogans in the Kashmir Valley on Friday over the killing of a youth in the Jammu region on Thursday, with separatists also condemning the police action.
Dozens of Sikh protesters assembled at Srinagar's Press Enclave and at a gurdwara near Lal Chowk to register their protest against the killing.
Several protesters carried the posters of Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale. It was removal of Bhindranwale's poster by a cop that triggered stabbing of a policeman two days ago and was followed by street protests in Jammu, which left one dead.
"Bhindranwale was the leader of the Damdami Taksal and played a big role in imparting religious education to Sikhs. He lives in our hearts," said a protester, refusing to be identified.
"We are wearing Bhindranwale T-shirts. Will they (police) remove them too? We are ready to lay down our lives for him," warned another agitated protester.
The protesters also raised the anti-government slogans and demanded immediate release of the youth arrested by the police.
Valley-based Sikh body All Parties Sikh Coordination Committee (APSCC), while expressing concern over the incident, demanded a judicial probe and suspension of police officials involved in the killing.
"The police officials worked under the influence and directions of some hardcore elements, which are part of the government," alleged the spokesman of the APSCC.
Several areas in the Jammu region remain under curfew after the killing on Friday. Meanwhile, hardline Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Geelani joined the condemnation and described the police action as "brutal."
"This police action was the worst kind of the state terrorism. Protests happen everywhere in the world and to protest is the right of every person but Jammu & Kashmir is the only unfortunate region of the world where the protests are silenced with bullets and atrocities," said Geelani.
Describing the present J&K dispensation as "communal," Geelani alleged, "Minorities in India face an acute threat. He said Sikhs are just remembering the Golden Temple massacre and the 31st anniversary of the attack on Darbar Sahib and Akal Takth, where hundreds of innocent Sikhs were brutally killed."