Tense Kulgam Shuts Down in Protest

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KULGAM: A complete shutdown was observed in south Kashmir’s Kulgam district on Tuesday against the killing of two militants and a civilian in an encounter with the government forces a day earlier.

The two militants identified as Javaid Ahmad Bhat alias Abu Jaffar of Redwani Balla and Idrees Ahmad Negroo of Badroo Yaripora were killed in 15-hour long gunfight. 

During the encounter, the locals staged massive anti-India and pro-freedom protests and made several attempts to break the cordon in order to allow militants a safe passage. A 25 year old youth, Asif Tantray, was killed when police fired at protesters. Police, however, said Asif was hit by a “stray bullet”.

Meanwhile, all the shops, commercial establishments and educational institutes were shut in entire Kulgam district against the deaths. Hurriyat Conference headed by Syed Ali Shah Geelani had  called for the shutdown in Kulgam district.

Witnesses said authorities had deployed large number of police and paramilitary CRPF personal across the district particularly in Khudwani, Redwani, Qaimoh and Yaripora areas.

However, despite large deployment of forces, the youth resorted to stone-throwing at Qaimoh on a CRPF camp ensuing clashes which continued for several hours.

Government on Monday said that a “time-bound” magisterial enquiry has been ordered to ascertain the facts which led to civilian killing and damage to property.

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