Police foil separatists march to army base Srinagar

The separatists have called for a three-day shutdown from Sunday against the killings and had also urged people to march towards 15-Corps headquarters in Badami Bagh, Srinagar. (Photo by Umer Asif)

Normal life remained affected for the second consecutive day on Monday in Kashmir as authorities imposed curfew-like restrictions to foil a march by separatists towards Badami Bagh army base, here, against the killing of seven civilians in southern Pulwama on Saturday.

Seven civilians, including a teenager, were killed while dozens others were injured when security forces fired live ammunition on protesters who thronged the site of the encounter in large numbers in Sirnoo area in Pulwama, 35 km from here.

The separatists have called for a three-day shutdown from Sunday against the killings and had also urged people to march towards 15-Corps headquarters in Badami Bagh, Srinagar on Monday. The police imposed stringent curbs in Srinagar and other areas of the Valley, while separatist leaders were detained when they tried to take out a march. Roads leading to the Chinar Corps headquarters here were sealed and no movement of people or transport was allowed towards the Army installation. 

Pro-independence JKLF chief Yasin Malik, who had gone underground to evade arrest, was detained at Budshah bridge near city center Lal Chowk after he tried to march towards Badami Bagh alongwith his of supporters which included women also. Police fired tear gas shells to foil the protest, said a witness, adding that Malik was taken into custody.

Similarly, moderate Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was detained by the police after he defied his house arrest and tried to march towards Badami Bagh alongwith his supporters. Commenting upon the Pulwama killings before his detention, Mirwaiz alleged that security forces have become a “killing machine.”

“We can only express our sorrow and outrage by stopping our daily business, as each day we lose valuable lives,” he said.

The Army had on Sunday urged people not to pay heed to the "misleading call" by the separatists. "The Army is always with the people of Kashmir and would foil all such evil attempts of terrorist-separatist-Pakistan nexus to pit the civilian population against the security forces. The public is once again advised not to pay heed to this misleading call by JRL (separatist leadership)," an Army spokesman said. 

Meanwhile, a complete shutdown was observed in the valley for second straight day with shops and other commercial establishments remaining closed in Srinagar and other parts of Kashmir. Educational institutions also remained closed while the exams scheduled at the Kashmir University and other universities on Monday were postponed.

Authorities also suspended Internet service in Srinagar in view of proposed separatist march. An official said that the services were snapped as a “precautionary measure”.

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Police foil separatists march to army base Srinagar

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