Kashmir Mourns Bloodbath

Srinagar—The Kashmir Valley on Monday observed a complete shutdown against the killings in Shopian and Anantnag even as authorities imposed restrictions in a large swathe of Srinagar and south Kashmir.

Nearly two dozen persons were injured in fresh clashes in many parts of the Valley in which a 22-year-old youth was injured critically in the Kangan area of central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district.

Authorities had closed all schools and colleges, and postponed examinations till further notice.

Locals in Kangan said that one Gowhar Ahmad Rathar, son of Abdul Rehman, had suffered bullet injuries in the head during police action .

The police denied it, saying that Rathar had been wounded in a fall he suffered while running during the clashes.

According to locals, government forces had resorted to teargas shelling, pellet guns, and firing during protests and clashes.

Rathar suffered critical head injuries and was admitted to the SKIMS.

An official of the local police station said that it was being investigated as to how the youth had suffered injuries.

“Today on 02-03-2018, a group of miscreants had gathered in Kangan market to pelt stones and disturb law and order in the area. A police party reached the spot on seeing which the miscreants started running during the course of which a boy Gowhar Ahmad Rather son Abdur Rahman Rather of Kangan fell down and injured his head on the edge of the drain,” a police spokesman said.

He said the injured person had been taken to Trauma Hospital Kangan from where he was referred to the SKIMS at Soura. “Reports regarding the bullet injury are completely false since no bullet was fired on the spot,” the spokesman added.

The medical superintendent at the SKIMS, Dr. Farooq Jan confirmed that Gowhar was received in a critical condition and was under treatment.

“His condition is very bad,” the doctor said.

A doctor at SKIMS said the youth, Gowhar Ahmad Rather, has firearm injury in his head and that he was shot at from a short distance. His Condition remains critical

Reports of minor clashes were received from several parts of the Valley including Memendar, Zainpora, Kellar, Gol Chakri Shopian, Beerwah Budgam, Bandipora, Sumbal, Safapora, Soura, Parimpora, Pinglina Chowk Pulwama and Kulgam.

Nearly 15 persons suffered minor injuries at Kulgam and Anantnag, and at least six persons suffered pellet wounds at Gol Chakri, reports said.

The authorities had also closed colleges and schools while Kashmir University and CUK postponed all exams scheduled for the day. Train services also remained suspended even as internet services were completely blocked in most parts of Kashmir Valley.

The Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) had called for the Valley-wide shutdown to protests against killing of thirteen militants and four civilians.

Shops and business establishments remained closed in the entire Valley while public transport was off the roads due to the strike, reports quoting eyewitnesses said.

Also, to thwart the protests, authorities had put parts of Srinagar including Old City and Maisuma under strict restrictions.

Similarly, curfew-like restrictions were imposed in Kulgam town of south Kashmir to prevent people from staging protests against the killings, official sources said. A police officer told GNS that the decision was taken to maintain “law and order.”

Meanwhile, a complete shutdown was observed in several areas of Ramban district against the Shopian killings.

Reports said the highway town of Banihal, Khari, Tethar and Chareel in Ramban district observed complete shutdown to mourn the death of 17 people, including 13 militants, in three separate gunfights.

All business establishments and schools remained closed while local transport remained off the roads in these areas, reports said.

Contingents of police were deployed in these areas to prevent protests, they said.

Internet services remained blocked in Shopian, Pulwama and Srinagar since last evening while as speed was reduced to 2G elsewhere.

A railway official here told that train services were suspended and the decision was taken in wake of apprehensions of law and order in the Valley.

Medicos Protest Firing in Shopian Hospital

Medicos on Monday held a sit-in outside the sub-district hospital Shopian to protest against what they described as indiscriminate firing at the hospital by the forces on Sunday night.

The medical and the paramedical staff at the hospital said that forces had resorted to harassment and unprovoked firing inside the hospital premises.

They said that the forces fired several shots into the casualty block and the blood bank inside the hospital following a heated argument with one of the doctors.

Later, a delegation of doctors met the deputy commissioner (DC) Shopian and presented a memorandum, seeking an investigation into the incident.

Slain Militants Identified

Ten of the 13 militants killed over the weekend in a major offensive by the government forces were from Shopian.

Most of the 10 from Shopian, once considered the ground zero of militancy, were young and had joined the militant movement between last year and now.

The oldest of the 10 was Ishfaq Ahmad Thoker, alias ‘Abrar’, who became a militant in September 2015, officials said.

The others, from various villages in the district, were Ubaid Shafi Malla alias ‘Abu Huraira’, who became a militant in February 2017, Zubair Ahmed Turrey alias ‘Abu Bakar’, Nazim Ahmad Dar alias ‘Furqan Bhai’ and Rayees Ahmad Thoker (May 2017), Yawar Itoo (July 2017), Adil Ahmed Thoker (November 2017), Ishfaq Ahmed Malik alias ‘Umar Bhai’ (January 2018), Aetimad Hussain Malik (November 2017) and Sameer Ahmed Lone (February 2018).

Director General of Police S P Vaid made an appeal, asking youth to shun violence.

“It is painful to all of us to see the loss of young lives. My appeal again to the parents of the boys, who have taken the wrong path… they should convince their wards to leave the path of violence and come home,” he said yesterday.

Considered a gateway to the Kashmir Valley for being strategically located on the way to the historical Mughal road, Shopian had nearly 30 active militants, including Saddam Paddar and Zeenat-ul-Islam who are rated A++ category militants and carry a cash reward on them. Both are still at large.

The area, south of the Peer Panjal mountain range, can provide free access to militants to cross over to Doda, Kishtawar and Poonch area of Jammu, the officials said.

More than 50 youths from the area “disappeared”, for joining various militant groups, after the killing of Burhan Wani, the poster boy of Hizbul Mujahideen, on July 8, 2016.

Traders Protest Foiled

The Jammu and Kashmir police on Monday foiled a traders protest march to the local office of the United Nations here against the killing of four civilians yesterday.

A group of traders under the banner of Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation (KTMF), led by its president Yasin Khan, took out a protest march from Lal Chowk city centre here to protest the killings which took place in the three encounters in south Kashmir yesterday, officials said.

They said the traders tried to march to the office of United Nations Military Observor Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) at Sonwar here but were stopped by the police near Regal Chowk.

The police asked the protesting traders to disperse, but they tried to march ahead, an official said, adding that it led to police swung into action and detain several leaders, including Khan.

The detained leaders were taken to Kothi Bagh police station, they said.

Notably, 13 militants were killed in three separate encounters in south Kashmir, while four civilians and three army jawans also lost their lives during the major counter-insurgency operations. (

With Gov Nearby, KU Students Hold Funeral Prayers For Slain

Students at the Kashmir University on Monday staged a strong protest demonstration against the militant and civilian killings in Shopian and Anantnag districts on Sunday, and offered funeral prayers for the slain outside the convocation complex where state governor NN Vohra was present for an important academic conference.

According to reports, students came out of the Zakura and two other two hostels and marched towards the convocation complex, chanting pro-freedom slogans.

The students, including girls, then assembled outside the complex where the 13th J&K Science Congress 2018 was underway, and offered funeral prayers in absentia for the militants and civilians killed in Shopian and Anantnag.

The students later dispersed peacefully.

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