Resistance leaders detained in Srinagar, protesting against civilian killings

Authorities on Monday imposed restrictions on people’s movement, detained separatist leaders and sealed the roads leading to Srinagar’s Badami Bagh Cantonment to prevent a march Kashmiri separatists had called to protest against the killing of seven civilians in south Kashmir on Saturday.

The seven were killed after security forces fired on civilians when they gathered at the scene of a firefight with militants and allegedly threw stones in Pulwama district’s Sirnoo village. The separatists had called for a three-day strike and asked the people to march towards the cantonment on Monday in protest against the killings. Three militants and a soldier were killed in the firefight.

Separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was put under house arrest when he tried to take out a protest march from his residence on the outskirts of Srinagar. Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front chief Yasin Malik was detained along with dozens of his supporters in central Srinagar when he tried to do the same.

The Army had called the march call an attempt to sabotage peace at Pakistan’s behest and advised the people against marching towards the cantonment.

Elsewhere in the Kashmir Valley, a complete shutdown was observed against the killings. The mobile internet was slowed across Kashmir to prevent mobilisation for the protests while train services from north Kashmir’s Baramulla to Banihal in the Jammu region were suspended. All examinations scheduled in the Valley were also postponed in view of the call for protests.

Shops and businesses remained shuttered and the traffic mostly remained off the roads. Additional forces were deployed at sensitive places across the Valley to prevent protests.