Shutdown, Clashes Disrupt Life in South Kashmir

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ANANTNAG/ KULGAM: Amid sporadic clashes, the three districts of South Kashmir-Shopian, Kulgam and Pulwama- observed a complete shutdown to mourn the death of high profile and most wanted Lashkar commander who was killed in pre-dawn ambush Thursday by army in Khandeypora hamlet of Kulgam.
Eyewitnesses said that all the shops, business establishments and educational institutions remained shut in the three districts and transport remained off the roads.
Residents in Kulgam alleged that some government forces personnel smashed the windshields of vehicles and windowpanes of scores of houses during late hours on Thursday, creating panic in the area. The locals staged a protest in the district holding CRPF directly responsible for the act. Reports said that fierce clashes broke out between protesters and government forces personnel in many areas including Khudwani, Redwani and Arwani. Soon after the clashes, large contingents of police and CRPF personnel were deployed in the district to bring the situation under control. “Clashes subsided after the deployment of police personnel. It is quiet and calm here,” a police official from Kulgam told reporters.
Protesters damaged  20 private vehicles, including Sumo’s carrying passengers in Kakapora town of Pulwama district. Eyewitnesses said that groups of youth took to streets to enforce shutdown in the area. Police arrested at least 20 youth for allegedly blocking the road and targeting police and private vehicles with stones in Pinglena area of the district. Youth also attacked police personnel in main town Pulwama. However, the government forces swung into action and managed to chase them away

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