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Kashmir shuts down to protest killing of civilian

The separatist leadership had given a call for strike over the killing of 26-year-old Saleem Malik in Noorbagh area of Srinagar on Thursday during an anti-militancy operation.

india Updated: Sep 28, 2018 17:42 IST
Ashiq Hussain
Ashiq Hussain
Hindustan Times, Srinagar
Paramilitary soldiers stand guard near a temporary barricade during a shutdown in downtown area of Srinagar on Friday. (Waseem Andrabi /HT Photo)

A complete shutdown was observed in Kashmir on Friday to protest the killing of a civilian during a cordon and search operation in Srinagar the previous day. Educational institutions, shops and business establishments remained closed while public transport remained off the roads.

Twenty six-year-old Saleem Malik was among six people killed in separate incidents of violence in the Kashmir Valley on Thursday. The killing triggered protests by locals which turned into a clash with forces. At least eight persons were injured in the ensuing police action against the protesters.

The separatist leadership had given a call for strike over Malik’s killing.

Police blamed militants for Malik’s killing in Srinagar’s Noorbagh during a cordon and search operation by security forces. But Malik’s family blamed security forces for his “targeted killing” saying the “forces opened fire on him when he came out during the wee hours to check on his flock of sheep”.

Security forces had launched the cordon and search operation in the wee hours based on information about militants hiding in the area. While the targeted militants escaped, Malik was killed in cross-firing, police said.

Friday’s bandh affected public transport and attendance in government offices was also thin.

A police official said that they had imposed restrictions in areas falling under five police stations of down town Srinagar, besides restricting Kralkhud and Maisuma areas partially to prevent any mass protest. Police and CRPF were also deployed in strength in sensitive areas of the city.

Separatist leaders Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik, who had given the call for shutdown were either put under house arrest or taken into custody.

Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chief Yasin Malik was detained from his home to prevent him from taking out any protest. Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, who is also the chief priest at Jamia Masjid and leads Friday prayers, was placed under house detention.

First Published: Sep 28, 2018 17:42 IST