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Kashmir shuts as thousands laid slain downtown youth to rest

Srinagar, Jun 02: On Joint Hurriyat’s call,Kashmir observed a complete shutdown on Saturdayagainst the recent incidents of government forces vandalizing civilian property in south of Kashmir, desecrating the grave of a slain militant there, chopping off of orchards at Sugan Shopian, and killing of a civilian Bilal Ahmad Ganie in Pulwama.
The intensity of the shutdown was felt even more in the backdrop of the Friday’s protest in Nowhatta here, during which two youth were mowed down by the paramilitary CRPF, one among whom succumbed by the end of the day.
Qaisar Bhat, 21, a resident of nearby Fateh Kadal area, received critical injuries, including internal injuries to vital organs and multiple fractures, after a CRPF bullet-proof vehicle crushed him over during the clashes that had taken place soon after the Friday prayers culminated in the area.
Another local youth, Younis Ahmad, 30, who too was mowed down by the same paramilitary vehicle, also received grievous injuries.
The duo was rushed to nearby JLNM Hospital and then to SK Institute of Medical Sciences, Sours, where Qaisarpassed away late Friday night.
As expected, authorities had imposed strict restrictions in several Sheh-re-Khaas areas on Saturday but could not restrain thousands of people participating in the funeral prayers of the slain youth at Fateh Kadal intersection.
When Qaisar’sbody was taken for burial to the martyrs’ graveyard at Eidgah, the government forces fired tear-gas shells at the mourners, who were seen running helter-skelter even as many held on to the slain youth’s body.
Reports said the body was later loaded onto a truck and driven to Eidgah, where thousands of people had already assembled to take part in last rites.
“Second round of funeral prayers was held there in which thousands participated,” said a mourner, adding that pro-freedom slogans were raised during the funeral.
Qaisar, an orphan, is survived by his two unmarried sisters.
He, as per reports, had recently started his business in Kashmir art was living with his aunt in Dalgate for the past four years after his parents had passed away.