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Kashmir shuts against ‘killing spree’

Srinagar, Nov 26: Kashmir observed a complete shutdown on Monday against the killing of as many as 17 people, including 13 militants and four civilians, in the last one week.

The Joint Hurriyat Leadership of Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik had called the shutdown against the ongoing “killing spree” in the region.

Shops, educational institutions were locked down and lack of public transport affected the attendance in banks and government offices as people showed support for the call.

Train services too were suspended for the day.

The shutdown was also observed in other district headquarters of the valley.

The stringent security measures were put in place in most parts of the areas in downtown here and other sensitive parts across south Kashmir.

However, despite heightened security, groups of youth hit streets at footbridge Parimpora, Keunsoo Bandipora, Chotabazar, Karanagar, Sabzi Mandi Soura, Shah Mohalla Nawabazar, Police Station Sopore and other places and staged pro-freedom demonstrations, witnesses said.

The protesters pelted stones on government forces who responded by lobbing tear smoke shells to disperse the youth.

However, no one was reported seriously hurt in the pitched battles that continued for several hours, they said.

Reports from south Kashmir said that paramilitary CRPF men and police were deployed in strength in the four districts of Pulwama, Shopian, Kulgam and Anantnag to prevent people from holding protests, even as all commercial establishments remained closed.

On Sunday, a group of six militants of Lashkar and Hizb outfits and an army trooper were killed in a gunfight in Shopian district to the south of Kashmir.

A civilian teenager was also shot dead and over 50 others received injuries as forces fired pellets and live ammunition at the protesting people.

The wounded included a 2-year-old baby girl who was shot at with a pellet in her right eye.

She was taken to SMHS hospital and operated upon even as doctors were not sure whether they can save her eyesight.

On Saturday, two more civilians, a teenage girl and a man in his 20s, succumbed to firearm injuries they had received in isolated incidents in Kulgam and Budgam districts earlier in the week.

Yet again, on Tuesday, Tehreek-e-Hurriyat district president Anantnag, Hafizullah Mir was also shot dead by unidentified gunmen near his house in Achabal area of the district.