Jammu and Kashmir Government foils separatists march, shuts schools till March 9

Authorities imposed restrictions in parts of uptown and downtown Srinagar, Shopian, Pulwama town, Anantnag town and some other sensitive areas of south Kashmir.

Published: 07th March 2018 09:33 PM  |   Last Updated: 07th March 2018 09:33 PM   |  A+A-

Paramilitary soldiers interrogate a Kashmiri motorcyclists before letting them go during restrictions in Srinagar. | AP

Express News Service

SRINAGAR: The State government on Wednesday imposed restrictions in parts of Kashmir to foil separatists march to Shopian to protest killing of four civilians in army firing during a shootout in south Kashmir while Jammu and Kashmir State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) has sought a detailed report from the government about the civilian killings.

Authorities imposed restrictions in parts of uptown and downtown Srinagar, Shopian, Pulwama town, Anantnag town and some other sensitive areas of south Kashmir to foil the separatists march to Shopian.

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The police and paramilitary personnel were deployed in strength in the curfew-hit areas to maintain law and order. The cops had placed barricades and concertina wires on the roads to restrict movement of people and foil protests.

All the top and second rung separatist leaders were either placed under house arrest or detained to prevent them from leading march towards Shopian district.

The separatist leaders Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik had called for “Shopian March” and strike today to protest killing of four civilians in army firing during a shootout in Pahnoo area of Shopian on Sunday evening and shifting of prisoners to outside jails from Kashmir.

Army has said two militants had fired on their armoured vehicle from two vehicles on Sunday evening in Pahnoo area of Shopoian and in the retaliatory firing both the militants and four civilians travelling in the vehicles were killed.

Mirwaiz, who was placed under house arrest at his residence in Nageen area of Srinagar, tried to defy the restrictions.

He, however, was detained by cops outside his home and lodged in a nearby police station. Later, he was shifted to his house and again placed under house arrest.

Hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani also attempted to defy house arrest restrictions but was detained by the policemen outside his Hyderpora residence and again placed under house detention.

The youth in some areas of Shopian attempted to take out marches. However, they were intercepted by police and CRPF men. The youth pelted stones on the cops, who retaliated by firing tear smoke shells and resorting to baton charge.

The pitched battles between the stone pelting youth and cops continued throughout the day.

Reports said five youth received pellet injuries in security forces firing. Two of the youth were hit by pellets in eyes.

The clashes between stone pelting youth and security men were also reported from some other areas in south Kashmir.

The life in other parts of the Valley, where restrictions were not imposed, was paralysed by the strike called by separatists.

All educational institutions remained closed as the authorities had already closed the schools and colleges till today.

Education Minister Altaf Bukhari today announced that all schools and colleges in the Valley would remain closed for two more days as a precautionary measure.

He said the schools and colleges in Valley except for south Kashmir would reopen on Saturday. In south Kashmir, the educational institutions would open on Monday.

Meanwhile, the J&K State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) has taken cognizance of the civilian killings in Shopian and directed Home Secretary, Deputy Commissioner Shopian and Director General of Police (DGP) to file a detailed report regarding the killing of four civilians by army on Sunday evening.

The Commission passed the directions after a petition was filed by human rights activist and chairman of International Forum of Justice Ahsan Untoo.

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