SRINAGAR: Normal life across Kashmir Valley came to a grinding halt on Wednesday in protest against three civilian killings by armed forces in central Kashmirs Budgam district on Tuesday.
The ‘joint resistance leadership’ comprising of Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yaseen Malik, had called for a complete shutdown for the day against killing of three youth who were killed while trying to help save a trapped militant in Zuin village of Chadoora on Tuesday. However, the lone militant died fighting hundreds of forces personnel who blasted the house he was trapped with mortar shells.
At least 35 protesters were also injured, 13 of them with bullet wounds, when government forces fired upon the surging crowds.
The three slain youth, Zahid Rasheed, Aamir Fayaz and Ishfaq Ahmad were later laid to rest amid massive funerals. The slain militant, Tauseef Ahmad Wagay was laid to rest in his native Yaripora village in Kulgam district Wednesday with thousands joining his last rites.
According to eyewitnesses funeral prayers for the slain militant were offered multiple times to accommodate thousands of people who had descended on the village from many parts of the south Kashmir.
Responding to strike call all shops, business establishments and educational institutions remained closed while public transport remained off the roads.
Public transport remained off the roads while private transport plied in some parts of Srinagar city. Vendors were seen doing normal business at Batamalu and Polo View areas of the city.
A complete shutdown was observed in other parts of Kashmir as well. Authorities had made heavy deployment of police and paramilitary forces to prevent protest rallies in Chadoora town.
The impact of shutdown was felt in all the districts of Valley including Srinagar, Budgam, Ganderbal, Shopian, Pulwama, Anantnag, Kulgam, Kupwara, Baramulla and Bandipore.
Clashes between protesters were reported from many parts of Valley including Srinagar city.
A youth who was identified as Abrar Ahmed Shah was injured after he was hit be pellets in the head at Rawalpora in uptown Srinagar.
Reports said that large number of youth resorted to stone-pelting on CRPF and police who in turn used tear-smoke shells and pellets to disperse them.
Reports said that the wounded youth was shifted to SMHS hospital shortly after being hit by pellets. Clashes were also reported from Parimpora, Elahi Bagh and Karan Nagar areas of Srinagar city.
Reports said that complete shutdown was observed in Chadoora, Nagam, Budgam, Beerwah, Aripanthan, Khag and Khansahab towns of the Budgam district while large number of people were seen thronging the houses of three victims.
In North Kashmir, clashes were reported from main chowk Sopore while in Yaripora Kulgam of South Kashmir, youth also clashed with the government forces.
Reports said that clashes erupted between protesters and armed forces in Yaripora after slain Hizb militant Tawseef Ahmad was laid to rest.
At Goriwan Bijbehara, armed forces resorted to intense tear-gas shelling to disperse the protesting youth. The clashes between Forces and protesters continued for hours.
Reports said that clashes erupted in Palhallan and Old town areas of north Kashmirs Baramulla district. While the protesters hurled rocks, the forces responded by bursting teargas shells.
In view of the volatile situation in the Valley post the Chadoora killings, Railway services remained suspended throughout Kashmir on Wednesday, official sources said.
Funeral prayers in absentia were held in Ajas Bandipore on Wednesday for three civilians shot dead by forces in Chadoora yesterday.
Reports said that scores of people gathered in the lawns of central Jamia Masjid Ajas after Zuhr prayers to offer funeral prayers in absentia for the youth.
Later, they held a peaceful protest rally in main chowk Ajas carrying placards denouncing civilian killings.
Meanwhile, youth in Saderkoot Bala area blocked Bandipora-Srinagar road to protest the killings.
More so, complete shutdown is being observed in Bandipora and Hajin townships against the killings.
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