Kashmir Shuts To Mourn Kulgam Civilian Killings  

SRINAGAR — A complete shutdown was observed across Kashmir as well as parts of Jammu division on Monday against the killings of seven civilians in Kulgam on Sunday.

The strike had been called by the Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) comprising Hurriyat Conference factions headed by Syed Ali Geelani and Mirwaiz besides JKLF led by Mohammad Yasin Malik to protest the “bloodbath” in Laroo village of Kulgam where seven civilians were killed, six of them in a blast near encounter site or and another due to firing by government forces on protesters that also led to the injuries to over fifty people.

Students of Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences & Technology (SKUAST), Wadura, Sopore staged a massive protest against the civilian killings.

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Holding placards and banners that read: “Stop innocent killings; No Jobs, No Roads, No Development; We want Freedom; Can Ink and Blood Flow Together?; Justice Not Bullets; Freedom; Indian Brutalities In Kashmir, World Powers are Silent,” the protesting students chanted pro-freedom and anti-India slogans

The protesting students marched up to the main gate of the campus and later dispersed peacefully.

Reports and officials said scores of youth took to streets at at Redwani and Khudwani and clashed with deployments of government forces. They also pelted stones on 1st RR camp at Redwani. The government forces responded by firing tear gas shells and pellets. One persons suffered pellet injuries in his right eye and was hospitalized, report said.

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The clashes between youth and government were also reported at Fruit Mandi Parimpora, Narbal, Kushipora HMT, Khaiwani Eiggah, Saidpora Safakadal, Ban Mohalla Fateh Kadal, Foot bridge Parimpora, Noorbagh, Eidgah, Padshahibagh, Natipora, Nowabazar, Mehjoornagar bridge, Khumani Chowk Bemina, Lal Bazar, Butshah Mohalla Lalbazar, Lawaypora, Sabzi Mandi Soura, Old Barzullah, Rambagh, Saderbal Kanitar Hazratbal, Rawalpora, Old Chanapora, Kralpora, Manchowa, Kadalbal Pampore, Safakadal, 90-feet Soura, Qazibagh Khanssahab Budgam, Shilwat Sumbal, Dangerpora, Sumbal, Safapora  and Ashijipora Anantnag. However, except injuries a woman and a person Marouf Ahmad from Sonwar at Safakadal,  there were no reports about major injury to anyone in the clashes.  Hit by teargas shell, Marouf was shifted to hospital, reports said.  

Amid clashes in several parts, all shops and other commercial establishments were closed in Kashmir while public transport was off the roads. Reports of shutdown were received from Chenab valley in Jammu division.

Shops, business establishments and some private schools of Muslim community remained closed in Bhaderwah, Doda and Kishtwar. However, government schools, offices and banks functioned there, the reports added.

President Anjuman Islamia (AIB) Bhadarwah, Pervaiz Ahmed Sheikh who had announced support for the shutdown call said they can’t remain mute to civilian killings in Kashmir.

The call for the shutdown was given by the JRL headed by Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, and Yasin Malik.  

PDP Demands Impartial Probe

The PDP on Monday demanded an impartial probe into the death of civilians in a blast at an encounter site in Kulgam district of Jammu and Kashmir.

Condemning the incident, PDP vice president Abdul Rahman Veeri said, “A time-bound investigation is needed in the incident and justice must be accorded to the victims.” 

Three militants were killed on Sunday in an encounter with security forces in Laroo village, while seven civilians lost their lives in a blast following the gunfight there, officials said.

The officials said immediately after the gunfight ended and the forces withdrew from the spot, civilians rushed to the encounter site where an explosive substance went off resulting in death of several civilians.

In a statement issued here, Veeri urged the central government to initiate dialogue and reconciliation so that further loss of precious lives in the state is stopped and peaceful atmosphere is created in which all sections of society could feel safe and secure.

Thousands Attend Youth’s Funeral Amid Emotional Scenes 

Javid Ahmad Lone, who was among seven civilians killed in Kulgam, was buried amid pro-freedom slogans at Hawoora, his native village in south Kashmir’s Kulgam district o Monday morning.

Javid was identified late on Sunday and his body remained in the mortuary for several hours before his family identified him.

Also Read   Kulgam Carnage: An Eyewitness Account

“Javid succumbed to injuries around 3 p.m. on Sunday,” Medical Superintendent SKIMS, Farooq Jan said.

SSP Kulgam said that he was identified at around 9 p.m. and body was handed over to the family then.   

Pertinently, the authorities not only blocked internet, a usual trend, they also snapped mobile phones leading to chaos and information blockade in the area.

Reports said that thousands of people attended Javid’s funeral early on Monday. He was taken in a procession towards graveyard amid pro-freedom slogans. Later, Javid was laid to rest amid sobs and tears.

Javid was among seven persons who were killed post a gunfight at Laroo in the south Kashmir district in which three local militants were killed.

Javid was among six persons who died due to the blast while another civilian Mansoor Ahmad was killed in government forces firing on protesters.

People of Kulgam buried their six loved ones yesterday and they include Auqib Ahmad Sheikh (18) son of Gulzar Ahmad Sheikh of Danow Macanpora, Kulgam, Uzair Ahmad Dar (8th standard student) son of Mushtaq Ahmad Dar of Nayakpora near Kulgam Town, Irshad Ahmad Paddar son of Sayedullah Paddar of Shurat Kulgam, Mansoor Ahmad Dar Son of Ghulam Mohammad Dar of Bogund Kulgam, Talib Ahmad Laway son of Mohammad Maqbool of Laroo and Mukeen Ahmad Bhat of Laroo.

While seven persons were killed more than 40 civilians were injured either due to blast near encounter site or use of force including pellets and bullets by government forces. Among the injured, three seriously wounded were referred from Anantnag district hospital and four from Kulgam hospital to SMHS and SKIMS hospitals here for advanced treatment.

The mayhem as has been described by people on both sides of the political spectrum started soon after government forces launched a cordon-and-search operation at Laroo village.

An encounter ensued between a joint team of forces and militants, leading to the killing of three Jaish-e-Mohammad cadres including Shahid Ahmad Tantary of Wangam Shopian, Zubair Ahmad Lone of Ahwatoo Kulgam and  Yazil Ahmad Makroo of Arwani Bijbehara.  

Want To Avoid Kulgam Like Incidents: DGP

J&K DGP Dilbagh Singh Monday said security forces want to avoid Kulgam like incidents where seven civilians died in a blast after an encounter with militants had concluded.

Talking to reporters on the sidelines of the wreath laying ceremony of a Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) jawan who was killed in a militant attack in Tral on Sunday, the Director General of Police (DGP) urged people to stay away from sites of anti-militancy operations.

It was an unfortunate incident and we regret it. When an operation is concluded, there are apprehensions of unexploded explosives at the site and people, especially youth, should avoid going to such places or to touch the debris. We have been asking people to avoid such sites, he said.

Singh stressed that security forces want to avoid collateral damage during the anti-militancy operations but people should also avoid creating such situations which may put them in harm’s way.  

We express solidarity with the families of the slain persons. We do not want such incidents,” he said.

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