Shutdown, Protests Against Hurriyat Activist’s Murder

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SRINAGAR: Four people, including two policemen were injured in clashes in the volatile town of Palhallan on Wednesday, as a complete shutdown was observed across the Baramulla district of north Kashmir against the killing of a Hurriyat Conference activist by unknown gunmen on Tuesday.

Witnesses said that all shops, offices, business establishments’ petrol pumps across Baramulla district remained closed today in view of the shutdown called by Syed Ali Geelani against the killing of Altaf-ur-Rehman Sheikh, a Hurriyat Conference activist, by unknown gunmen at New Colony, Sopore on Tuesday. The shutdown also affected the movement of public transport in the district.

Similar scenes were also witnessed in the main town Baramulla, Sopore, Palhallan, Pattan and other areas where normal life came to a grinding halt in wake of the shutdown.

Fearing protests, witnesses said, CRPF troopers and police were deployed in huge numbers in the sensitive areas of the district including Sopore, Baramulla town, Palhallan and Pattan.

However, despite stringent security measures, groups of youth converged at the Main Market Palhallan this morning and staged pro-freedom and anti-India demonstrations, witnesses said. Chanting slogans, the protesters were denouncing the killing of Altaf.

“The protesters also blocked Srinagar-Muzaffarabad highway with stones. When the forces came to remove the blockade, the protesters pelted them with stones leading to the outbreak of clashes,” Muneer Ahmad, a witness said.

The government forces, he said used batons and lobbed tear smoke shells to disperse the stone pelting youth. The clashes that continue till late evening left at least four people, including two policemen injured. (GNS)

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