Stone-pelting returned to south Kashmir’s Anantnag district on Wednesday when protesters took to the streets to commemorate the alleged killing of three youth by the J-K police in the area last year.
Trouble started in the Sher-i-Kashmir Colony when a group of youth raised banners changing the name of the colony to Shouda-e-Kashmir (Martyrs of Kashmir) in the morning.
Dozens of protesters, mainly youth, assembled in the interior lanes and bylanes of Sher-i-Kashmir and Lazibal colony, some 65 km south of Srinagar. Later, they tried to march towards the highway but were chased away by a posse of security forces --- police and the CRPF --- deployed in the area in full gear.
“We avoided violence in the area and were successful in it. There might have been minor incidents in interiors of these colonies but nothing untoward happened on the highway,” said DIG south Kashmir Shafkat Watali.
A complete shutdown was observed in the entire Anantnag town with most shops, business establishments and schools closing down for the day.
On June 29, 2010, three youth --- Ishtiaq Ahmad (15) a Class 10th student, Imtiyaz Ahmad Itoo (17), a bakery shop worker and Shujat-ul-Islam (17) a Class 12th student --- were shot dead in police firing. An amateur video shot on a mobile phone of the incident shows police personnel chasing protests in the area and suddenly the three boys fall to bullets inside the colony. Two inside the premises of a local resident and another in his bakery shop. The state government had transferred the police officials from the area but till date no firm action were taken in the case.
The killing of a schoolboy in June last year sparked protests in Kashmir, which spread across the valley leaving 113 people dead.
Anantnag district is on the highway to the Amarnath shrine. The police ruled out that this incident will have any negative bearing on the yatra. “This will not impact yatra. Last year, at the peak of agitation, the yatra functioned smoothly,” said DIG Watali.
Meanwhile, Qazi Yasir, relative of south Kashmir’s head priest Qazi Amaan, was freed on parole on Wednesday. Yasir was booked under the Public Safety Act last year for his “hate speeches and spreading anti-state sentiment on social networking site Facebook”.
“(We) have ordered the release of Qazi Yasir on parole to attend the last rites of his uncle Qazi Amaan in Anantnag on humanitarian grounds," said Chief Minister Omar Abdullah.