Separatist-called shutdown affects life in Kashmir Valley


Srinagar, July 11 (IANS) A protest shutdown called by separatists affected life adversely across the Kashmir Valley on Wednesday.

Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL), separatist conglomerate headed by Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and Yasin Malik, called the valley-wide shutdown against the “continuing killings of civilians by the Indian security forces”.

Two militants and two civilians were killed and over 20 civilian protesters injured during a gunfight in Jammu and Kashmir’s Shopian district on Tuesday.

A man died of shock after being misinformed that his son, Zeenat, who recently joined militant ranks, was trapped at the battle site. While Muhammad Ishaq Naikoo died of cardiac arrest, a youth, Tamsheel Ahmad Khan, died at a hospital after receiving bullet injury during clashes with the security forces.

The militants killed were identified as Sameer Ahmad Sheikh from Shopian and a Pakistani national, Babar, — both belonging to the Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) outfit.

Shops, other businesses, public transport and educational institutions remained closed in Srinagar and other district headquarters of the valley on Wednesday even though private transport and some three wheelers were seen moving on uptown and city outskirts here.

The separatist shutdown call did not, however, affect the passage of Amarnath pilgrims to the two base camps of Baltal and Pahalgam.

Neither did anybody try to prevent the movement of tourists elsewhere in the valley.

Authorities made heavy deployments of police and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in the old city areas here and other sensitive places without imposing any restrictions on civilian movement.

Train services between Baramulla town of the valley and the Bannihal town in Jammu region were suspended though, as a precautionary measure.

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Mobile Internet services also remained suspended in most parts of south Kashmir.