Govt Clamps Down On JRL March To Shopian

Srinagar—The Kashmir Valley observed a spontaneous shutdown on Wednesday, making it the fourth day running that life remained crippled in the region after 13 militants and four civilians were killed in south Kashmir.

The Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) had not issued any call for a strike, but the government imposed strict restrictions in Srinagar parts, many areas in south Kashmir, and in Kangan, in view of the JRL’s programme of visiting Shopian to pay condolence to bereaved families.

The Kangan town in the Gandarbal district had flared up with massive protests and clashes on Tuesday when a 22-year-old local youth Gowhar Ahmad Rathar passed away at the SKIMS due to bullet injuries suffered the previous day.

At least three persons had been injured these clashes, and one of them, identified as Muhammad Amir Lone, is admitted to the SKIMS in Srinagar in a critical condition.

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Together with a heavy deployment of forces personnel in Old Srinagar, Maisuma, and sensitive areas in South Kashmir, authorities clamped down on the JRL’s programme by confining Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq to their homes, and shifting Muhammad Yasin Malik to the Central Jail.

Reports of minor clashes were received from Memander in Shopian, in the vicinity of the Shopian police station, outside the Degree College in Ganderbal and in the Trehgam area of Kupwara.

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In Kangan, Gowhar Ahmad Rathar, the 22-year-old youth who had passed away due to bullet injuries on Tuesday was laid to rest at around 2:30 in the night after the district administration accepted demands of the locals.

Gowhar was laid to rest in the martyrs’ graveyard after district authorities agreed to registering an FIR against the police, releasing youth rounded up during clashes, and paying compensation to his family, sources said.

Additional Deputy Commissioner Syed Shahnawaz Bukhari, who has been appointed inquiry officer in a magisterial probe into Gowhar’s killing, said that a meeting was held with the family and elders of the area last night.

“The demands put forth by them were met and they agreed to bury the body,” Bukhari said.

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