Valley Shuts Against Pulwama Killings

SRINAGAR: The Kashmir Valley on Friday observed a complete shutdown against killing of two civilians during a gunfight in Padgampora village of South Kashmir on Thursday.

The joint resistance leadership had called for a state-wide shutdown on today in response to the killings.

Two local militants and two civilians were killed in Padgampora village of Pulwama on Thursday.

All shops and business establishments remained closed while as attendance in the government offices was thick due to non availability of transport across the Valley even as government had made extra-deployment of security forces across Valley.

Reports of shutdown were received from all the districts of the valley.

The government resorted to traditional curbs on the pro-freedom leadership. Hurriyat patriarch Syed Ali Geelani continues to remain under house detention since 2010 while as his deputy, Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai, was detained in his residence since Thursday evening. Hurriyat Conference (G) Secretary General, Shabir Ahmad Shah, Ayaz Akbar and others too were arrested in their houses “to prevent them from reaching to people”.

Hurriyat Conference (M) chief, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, was put placed under house arrest this morning thus barring him from reaching Jamia Masjid in Old Srinagar where government did not allow people to attend the mandatory Friday prayers today.

Massive presence of forces was witnessed around the historic Jamia Masjid located at Nowhatta in summer capital. Eye witnesses said that men in uniform did not allow faithful to go near the Masjid for prayers.

However, clashes between protesters and forces personnel were reported from many parts of Valley including Nakadal area of Srinagar, Papachen, Hajin in Bandipora, Qaimuh in Kulgam, Kupwara, Sopore in Baramulla, and Tahab and Tral in Pulwama district.

Reports said that during clashes between protesters and forces, a girl was wounded after she received a rubber bullet in her foot in Old city. Identified as Shahnaza Hassan, she was shifted to Bones and Joints Hospital for treatment.

A police official, however, said that the girl was wounded after a stone hit her.

Reports came from Sopore town said that soon after the Friday prayers youth took to streets and fought pitched battles with the forces. The forces deployed in the area used tear gas shells to disappear them, however, no one was injured till last reports came.

Eyewitnesses said that protesters pelted stones on Army Goodwill School at Hajin while forces used tear-smoke shells to disperse them.

Clashes after Friday prayers were also reported from Tahab area of Pulwama district.

According to reports, large number of youth clashed with forces to protest against the killing of a local youth and a schoolboy in Padgampora. Local reports said that youth, braving snow and chill, took to streets after the culmination of congregational Friday prayers and clashed with forces deployed in the area. Youth according to eyewitnesses attacked CRPF camp with stones and chanted pro-freedom slogans.

According to a police statement, the situation “remained peaceful in the Kashmir valley”.

“There were no restrictions in any part of the Kashmir valley including Srinagar city,” said the police statement.

Hizb Militant’s Funeral Witnesses Participation of Thousands

Braving chill, snow and intermittent rains, thousands of people participated in the funeral of slain Hizbul Mujahideen militant who police claimed was killed in a brief shootout in Bandipora on Thursday evening.

A resident of Malangam Bandipora, Mushtaq Ahmad Seer, was killed when the vehicle he was travelling in was intercepted at a naka near police station Bandipora, police officials said. In the shootout, police said, an army major was also injured when Mushtaq fired from the sumo vehicle he was travelling in.

Reports said that people from adjoining areas, thronged Malangam early in the morning and participated in the funeral. Coffin of Mushtaq was showered with petals and almonds amid pro-freedom sloganeering.

The mood was poignant and skies were falling wet with snow and rains as thousands of mourners participated in the funeral of Seer.

Sacrifices Won’t Go Waste: UJC

 Paying tributes to the slain militants and civilians killed in Pulwama and Bandipora districts on Thursday, United Jihad Council (UJC) on Friday said that “sacrifices rendered by them won’t go waste”.

In an e-mailed statement to KNS, the UJC spokesperson, Syed Sadaqat Hussain while quoting the outfit chief, Syed Salah-ud-din as saying, “the sacrifices rendered by the militants Jehangir Ahmad Ganie, Muhammad Shafi, Mushtaq Ahmad and the civilians, Aamir Nazir, son of Nazir Ahmad and Jalal-ud-din won’t go waste.”

“The militants preferred to die rather than surrender and conveyed a message to enemies that they will fight against them till the last drop of the blood and won’t leave any stone unturned to achieve the goal (freedom),” UJC chief said.

He said, “the killing of Aamir Nazir and Jalal-ud-din Wani is glaring example that the Indian forces don’t feel any difference between the militants and the innocent Kashmiris.”

“The atrocities are being committed on the Kashmiris and the International community is watching it as mute spectator. The current situation is dangerous and in case the situation remains same, then it will affect the peace of whole world,” he said.

He asked the International community to “take notice over the recent statement of Army chief press the India to stop human rights violation in the Valley.”

Let Pays Tribute To Slain Militants

Paying rich tributes to the slain militants killed in South Kashmir encounter, militant outfit Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) Friday said that youth of Kashmir are confident of “breaking the chains of thraldom from India and are ready for all kinds of sacrifices”.

In a statement to local news agency CNS, Mehmood Shah, the LeT Chief said, “militant Muhammad Shafi Shergojri was really a brave heart who didn’t care for the cries of his little children and wife and faced the bullets of India troopers.”

“Declining the surrender offer when his parents and children were there was a great incident and this incident has really new shape to the Freedom Struggle,” he said, “blood of Jahangir, Amir Nazir and Shafqat will not go to waste.”

Mehmood Shah said: “the advice that Jammu Kashmir Police Chief was giving to militants proved a hollow one on Thursday when his men brought the family members of the militant on gun point near encounter site and forced them to ask the militant for surrender.”

Expressing sympathies with those injured in Forces shelling, LeT Chief said, “these youth deserve a salute who don’t care for their lives despite knowing they can be targeted.”

Rail Services Remain Suspended

Train services from Srinagar to Banihal remained suspended for the second consecutive day on Friday for following the killing of two civilians in Pulwama yesterday as the pro-freedom leadership called for strike in the Kashmir valley today Two Lashkar-i-Toiba (LeT) militants were killed in an encounter with forces yesterday when clashes erupted.

“We have also suspended all trains on Srinagar-Baramulla tracks today,” a railway official told UNI.

He said all trains running on Budgam-Srinagar-Pulwama, Anantnag and Qazigund to Banihal in Jammu region track remained suspended for the second day today for security reasons.

He said it was also decided to suspend all train runs between Srinagar-Budgam in the central Kashmir to Baramulla in north Kashmir today.

He said that the decision to suspend the train service was taken on the advice by local authorities and police following apprehension of violence.

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