KULGAM KILLINGS: Govt thwarts protest march to Lal Chowk
Srinagar, Oct 23: Parts of the city were placed under strict restrictions on Tuesday to thwart the rally to Lal Chowk called by the Joint Hurriyat Leadership in protest against the civilian killings at Kulgam.
Fearing protests, the authorities had imposed restrictions in Srinagar parts and suspended the movement of traffic on the stretch between Regal Chowk and Amira Kadal.
In the morning, the internet speed was choked in the city, while in south Kashmir it continued to remain completely suspended since Sunday.
Schools and colleges too remained closed in several districts on government orders.
Authorities sealed the commercial hub of Lal Chowk here to prevent the march.
Barricades were erected by the police at Amira Kadal and the Regal Chowk to prevent any movement towards the Clock Tower.
The protest rally had been called by the resistance leadership on the second day of protests against the killing of seven civilians at an encounter site at Kulgam in south Kashmir.
The JKLF Chief, Yasin Malik, who was in hiding to evade arrest, appeared in Lal Chowk in the morning attempting to carry out the march called by the Joint Hurriyat.
He was arrested soon after.
Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was arrested outside his Nigeen residence when he tried to organise a march.
Authorities also stopped leaders and workers of the mainstream parties who too attempted marching in mourning against the civilian killings.
National Conference leaders Ali Muhammad Sagar, Nasir Aslam Wani, Mustafa Kamal, Akbar Lone, and SakeenaItoo were part of the protest march, which was taken out from the party’s Nawah-e-Subh complex here.
“Government of India must put an immediate end to the brutal killing of civilian and initiate dialog process to resolve the Kashmir issue,” Sagar told the media persons.
Later, police detained many NC workers, not allowing them to march towards Lal Chowk.
Business community, under the banner of Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), staged a march at Lal Chowk
“KCCI condemns the human right violations and calls upon the world human right organizations to highlight the atrocities faced by Kashmiris,” said KCCI senior vice-president, Nasir Hamid Khan.
Kashmir Traders and Manufactures federation led by Yasin Khan too took out a protest march through Residency road and staged a sit-in at Regal Chowk where police had erected a barricade.
Although there were no reports of clashes happening in any part of the valley, Army, as per reports, resorted to aerial firing after they were pelted with stones in Chadoora area of central Kashmir’s Budgam district.
Reports said an army party was moving through Wathoora village when it was pelted with stones by some youth.
The army men, reports added, fired several shots in air to chase away the protesting youth.
A spontaneous shutdown was observed in all four districts of south Kashmir.