Valley Shuts Against Death Penalty To Kulgam Youth

SRINAGAR: A complete shutdown was observed on Friday across the Valley following the call given by the joint resistance leadership against the death sentence to a Kashmiri youth by a Bengal court.

The shutdown call was given by the joint resistance leaders including Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik in their 15-day long protest calendar. They had also called for protests after Friday prayers.

All the shops, petrol pumps, business establishments and other establishments remained closed throughout the day while the traffic was thin on roads.

Meanwhile, as soon as mandatory congregational Friday prayers ended in the local Masjids, people at various places came on roads and staged demonstration against the court verdict.

Meanwhile, as soon as the Friday congregational prayers ended at Jami Masjid Srinagar, clashes erupted between youth and forces in the area during which forces resorted to tear smoke shells to disperse the aggrieved youth.

Reports said that a petrol bomb was hurled by the aggrieved youth during the clashes due to which a paramilitary trooper sustained injuries.

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The PDP-BJP coalition government, once again, confined Hurriyat Conference (M) chairperson, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, to his Nigeen residence. He was not allowed to offer the prayers where he was scheduled to lead a rally against the verdict.

A Hurriyat Conference (M) said that soon after congregational Friday prayers, a protest rally led by Imam-e-Hai Syed Ahmad Naqashbani, Sufi Mushtaq Ahmad, Jaffar Kashmiri was taken out in solidarity with Muzafar Ahmad Rather and against the Mirwaiz’s house arrest. “The rally was dispersed forcibly by using smoke shells and pepper gas during which many youth as well as two photo journalists were injured.”

Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) leaders assembled at Maisuma and staged protest. The protesters were chanting anti-government slogans.

In north Kashmir’s Sopore area, reports of clashes were also reported between youth and forces.

Reports said soon after the Friday prayers, scores of people assembled outside historic Jamia Masjid Sopore amid pro-freedom slogans and started marching towards main Chowk Sopore.

The forces were already deployed at Main chowk who tried to stop the protesters from proceeding ahead, triggering a stone-pelting clash.

The resistance leadership had appealed people to observe Friday, February 3 as “Kashmir Resistance Day” and called for a complete shutdown on the day besides holding Kashmir-wide protests against the “the death sentence to Kulgam youth, Muzaffar” and urged Imams of all Masjids to lead protests against the “judicial injustice” after the Friday prayers.



Photo-Journalists Injured

At leats four four photo-journalists were injured across Valley on Friday while in the line of fire.

In Srinagar, PTI’s Irfan Ahmad and Farooq Javid of the Rising Kashmir were injured at Nowhatta during clashes between forces and civilians.

In North Kashmir’s Sopore, while covering the protests and subsequent clashes between forces and civilains, two other photo-journalists were hit with stones resulting in minor injuries.

They were later identified as Mohammad Abu Bakar and Eeshan Peer.

All of the injured journalists are stable and out of danger, reports added.

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