Civilian killing, SC directive: Kashmir shuts in protest
Srinagar, Feb 17:Normal life was affected due to restrictions imposed by authorities in Srinagar areas in wake of a strike call by Joint Hurriyat protesting the killing of a Hurriyat (G) leader and Supreme Court’s directive on an FIR against army personnel in the Shopian firing. Muhammad Yousuf Rather alias Yousuf Nadeem was shot dead by unknown gunmen in a passenger cab in Budgam earlier this week. According to a police official, strict restrictions under CrPC Section 144 were imposed in Nowhatta, Rainawari, Khanyar, Safakadal and M R Gunj police station areas of the city, while partial restrictions were in force in Maisuma and Kralkhud areas. Restrictions, the official said, were imposed as a precautionary measure to maintain “law and order” in view of the strike called by separatists. Normal life was affected elsewhere in the city as most of the shops, business establishments and fuel stations were shut, while public transport was off the roads, the official said. However, private cars, cabs and auto-rickshaws were seen plying in many areas of the city where there were no restrictions, he said, adding similar reports were received from other district headquarters of the Valley. The Joint Hurriyat on Thursday had called for a complete shutdown in Kashmir on Saturday to protest against the apex court’s decision. The Joint Hurriyat comprising Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik, had issued a statement criticising the apex court for restraining the Jammu and Kashmir Police from taking any coercive steps against Army officers accused in the Shopian firing case. Three civilians were killed when Army personnel fired at protesters in Ganowpora village in Shopian on January 27, prompting Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti to order an inquiry into the incident. The FIR was registered against personnel of 10 Garhwal Rifles, including Major Aditya Kumar, under sections 302 (murder) and 307 (attempt to murder) of the Ranbir Penal Code. Father of the Major Kumar, the officer named in the FIR, had approached the Supreme Court seeking the FIR be quashed. The Supreme Court on February 12 restrained the Jammu and Kashmir Police from taking any coercive steps against Army officers and asked the state government to file a response within two weeks.