Kashmir, Banihal Shuts against civilian killings

Paying heed to the Joint Resistance Leadership’s call for a complete shutdown against militant and civilian killings in southern Kulgam district on Saturday, life came to a grinding halt on Monday as businesses, offices and schools remained closed across the Valley and in some parts of Jammu.
On Saturday, a civilian Rouf Ahmed sustained bullet injuries during clashes at the gunfight site in Kulgam, and later succumbed to his injuries. Five militants were also killed in the encounter. Following the killings, the JRL comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik had asked people observe a complete shutdown on Monday.

All shops, hotels, restaurants, private institutions and educational institutions remained closed for the day.
LalChowk, the city centre, wore a deserted look as very thin traffic could be seen on the streets.
A witness said that though there were no curbs in Downtown Srinagar, the government had made heavy deployment of police and paramilitary forces to thwart any possible protest by the youth against the Kulgam killings. This year so far, 69 civilians were killed in forces’ firing, majority of them during protests at gunfight sites.

Another witness said that Kulgam district observed a shutdown for the third consecutive day, even as shutdown continued in the native villages of slain militants in Anantnag district as well.
A complete shutdown was observed in various districts of southern Kashmir that include Pulwama and Shopian. The strike call also evoked a good response in northern districts of Baramulla, Bandipora, and Kupwara.
In Kashmir, authorities suspended train services as a precautionary measure for the third straight day. The services were stopped in the wake of Kulgam killings.
On JRL’s strike call, a complete shutdown was observed in the Banihal area of Ramban district in Jammu region. A witness said that all shops, commercial establishments, private institutions there remained shut for the day.