Shopian Killings: Amid shutdown, restrictions, protests witnessed in part of Valley

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Wahid Bhat

 SRINAGAR : Following the killing of two militants and four civilians the situation in Shopain district of south Kashmir remains tense today. Amid separatist called shutdown restrictions were imposed across the valley by authorities.

Huge deployment of forces was put in place in all sensitive parts of the region. Police on Monday recovered two more bodies, raising the death toll in last night’s firing incident on a vehicle to six.  The body of one militant identified as Ashiq Hussain Bhat from the Lashkar-e-Tabia (LeT) militant outfit, was recovered today from an orchard at Saidpora area. He was missing since November 13, 2017,” said a police spokesman while talking to Press Trust of Kashmir.

 He said the preliminary investigation suggests the death of the said militant was a part of the chain of incident at Pahnoo Shopian. “Further investigation is on.”

On Sunday, one militant and three civilians who the army claimed were overground workers (OGWs) of militants — were killed in army firing after a mobile vehicle check post (MVCP) of 54 Rashtriya Rifles was fired at.

The body of another civilian, Gowhar Ahmad Lone, 24, was also found on Monday morning, some 250 metres away the gunfight site.

Clashes erupted at Papchan Chowk in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district between protesters and the government forces over the killing of civilians in Shopian. Eyewitness told Press Trust of Kashmir over phone that scores of youth assembled at Papchan Chowk and hurled rocks at the forces deployed there. However police refutes any incident of clashes in the area.

Reports of clashes were also received from Gulshan Chowk Bandipora.

Clashes erupted between protestors and government in central Kashmir’s Budgam district over Shopian killings.

Reports said protests erupted in several areas of the district including Chadoora, Kralpora and Machoowa. Meanwhile, a complete shutdown is being observed across the district to protest the killings.

Police detained dozens of students, who were protesting against the Shopian killings, during clashes in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district.

The youth were protesting against the yesterday’s Shopian killings, in which two militants and four youth were killed. Reports added that several students from different coaching centers assembled at KP Road in Anantnag town to protest against the killings.

However, government forces appeared on the spot and used force to disperse the protesting youth, and detained dozens of students, reports said. Soon after the clashes Authorities snapped mobile Internet services across south Kashmir in wake of Shopian killings.

Meanwhile Government closed all schools and colleges besides all exams were also postponed which were scheduled for today.

Today, schools up to 8th class were scheduled to re-open after winter vacations while higher classes resumed last week.

 The Jammu and Kashmir government order reads that it has been decided to keep all the schools and colleges closed till Wednesday across Kashmir. The decision has been taken as a “precautionary measure” to avoid “law and order situation” in the Valley.

Chairperson BOSE, Veena Pandita while talking to Press Trust of Kashmir said the exams scheduled for today have been postponed and fresh dates will be announced separately, later.

Meanwhile national conference demands probe into the Shopian killings. On its official Twitter handle, NC wrote: “We are deeply shocked and grieved at the continued and unabated bloodshed in Kashmir.”

“The Shopian killings cannot be justified with an arbitrary, unproven pronouncement of the youth being OGWs. The circumstances and details should be probed and made public by the State Govt”.

Meanwhile Hurriyat (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on accused army of spreading “propaganda and lies” over the civilian killings in Shopian.

“Lies and propaganda being spread by the Indian Army as another civilian Gowhar Ahmed Lone found brutally killed behind his steering wheel in the mayhem let loose by them at Shopian yesterday night taking the toll of killings to 6!,” Mirwaiz wrote on social networking site.

Police also detained Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik during a protest march against Shopian killings in Srinagar’s Lal Chowk area. (PTK)