Kashmir tense after civilians' killings

Kashmir tense after civilians' killings

A scene of the city during a strike called by separatist leaders, over the death of 7 civilians in a blast at an encounter site in Laroo area of Kulgam district of south Kashmir, in Srinagar, on Monday. PTI

Amid shutdown and restrictions, tense situation prevailed in Kashmir on Monday, a day after seven civilians were killed when an explosive shell went off after three militants were killed in south Kashmir’s Kulgam district.

Separatists have called for a shutdown and a march to city center Lal Chowk on Tuesday to protest the “bloodbath” in Laroo village of Kulgam where seven civilians died in a blast at the site of a gunfight on Sunday. Over 40 civilians were injured in the blast and the clashes that followed.

Police said an unexploded shell lying at the site of the encounter went off after the gunfight was over and security forces had left the spot.

However, locals and separatists blame the security forces for the blast.
Authorities imposed restrictions in volatile areas of Srinagar, Kulgam and other volatile districts of the Valley to thwart protests. Intra-Kashmir train services remained suspended due to an apprehension of fresh violence. All examinations scheduled on Monday were postponed by J&K Board of School Education. 

Officials said no incident of fresh violence was reported till Monday afternoon. However, they said Kulgam and neighbouring districts of Pulwama and Shopian remained on edge as funeral prayers in absentia for slain militants and civilians were organised at several places in south Kashmir. 

Following the fresh civilian killings, the Valley has been on edge with separatists calling for shutdown and authorities imposing curfew-like restrictions. Due to strike and restrictions, normal life remained paralysed in Kashmir with shops, business establishments, educational institutions and marketplaces remaining closed across the Valley and public transport thrown off the gear.