Shut down against ‘killing spree’ affects normal life

Family members and relatives mourn teh death of 16-year-old Numaan Ashraf who was killed in a clash near encounter site at Batagund area of Shopian districk of J&K, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018. (PTI Photo)

Amid shutdown and restrictions, tense situation prevailed in Kashmir on Monday, a day after six militants, a soldier and a civilian were killed in a gun battle and subsequent clashes in southern Shopian on Sunday.
 
Dozens of civilians, including 19-month-old Hiba Jan, who was hit with a pellet in her right eye, were also injured during the clashes between security forces and protesters in parts of Shopian on Sunday.
 
Separatists have called for a shutdown on Monday to “strongly protest and denounce killing of 18 Kashmiris in forces’ brutal action in the last few days.” Since Tuesday, 16 militants and three civilians have been killed in separate gun-battles and militancy related incidents across Kashmir. 
 
Authorities imposed restrictions in volatile areas of Srinagar and parts of Shopian district to thwart protests. Intra-Kashmir train services remained suspended due to apprehension of fresh violence while university examinations scheduled on Monday were also postponed. Authorities deployed forces to prevent any protest rallies and maintain law and order. Train services in the valley have also been suspended for the day.

Also read: Civilian killings must end in Kashmir: CPM
 
Shops and other commercial establishments, schools and colleges remained closed across Kashmir valley including commercial hub of Lal Chowk in Srinagar while attendance of employees in government offices was reported to be very thin. Though public transport was off the roads, private cars, auto rickshaws and cabs plied normally in Srinagar.
 
Following the fresh killings, the Valley has been on edge again with separatists calling for shutdown and authorities imposing curfew like restrictions. Since October 1, separatist have called for strikes at least for 15-days. 
 
According to Shakeel Qalandar, a noted industrialist, in the past three-decades, Kashmir has suffered losses up to Rs 2,20,000 crore due to business interruptions caused by strikes and curfews. Qalander said the situation in Kashmir has now reached to a point where “our entrepreneurs have started migrating to other parts of the world.”

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Shut down against ‘killing spree’ affects normal life

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