Srinagar, Oct 22:A complete shutdown was Monday observed across the Valley to mourn the death of seven civilians who died in an explosion near gunfight site in South Kashmir’s Kulgam district on Sunday.
The shutdown call was given by Joint Hurriyat Leadership comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik, appealing people to observe shutdown on Monday and observe sit in protest on Tuesday at Lal Chowk.
In view of the shutdown, the district administration Srinagar had imposed restrictions in parts of Srinagar to thwart any protest against the Kulgam killings.
Shops and business establishments were closed while schools colleges and other educational institutions remained shut. Transport both public and private was largely off the roads and train service in Kashmir was suspended by the railway authorities.
Witnesses said that the heavy deployment of forces was deployed in the roads to ensure peaceful situation throughout the day.
The day also witnessed the funeral of Javid Ahmad Lone, the seventh civilian killed in Kulgam, who was buried amid heavy sloganeering at Hawoora, his native village in south Kashmir’s Kulgam district.
Javid was identified late on Sunday and his body remained in the mortuary for several hours before his family identified him.
Pertinent to mention that the authorities not only blocked internet, a usual trend, they also snapped mobile phones leading to chaos and information blockade.
Reports said that thousands of people attended Javid’s funeral early on Monday. He was taken in a procession towards graveyard amid pro-freedom slogans. Later, Javid was laid to rest amid sobs and tears.
People of Kulgam buried their six loved ones yesterday and they include Auqib Ahmad Sheikh (18) son of Gulzar Ahmad Sheikh of DanowMacanpora, Kulgam, Uzair Ahmad Dar (8th standard student) son of Mushtaq Ahmad Dar of Nayakpora near Kulgam Town, Irshad Ahmad Paddar son of SayedullahPaddar of Shurat Kulgam, Mansoor Ahmad Dar Son of Ghulam Mohammad Dar of Bogund Kulgam, Talib Ahmad Laway son of Mohammad Maqbool of Laroo and Mukeen Ahmad Bhat of Laroo.
While seven persons were killed more than 40 civilians were injured either due to blast near encounter site or use of force including pellets and bullets by government forces. Among the injured, three seriously wounded were referred from Anantnag district hospital and four from Kulgam hospital to SMHS and SKIMS hospitals here for advanced treatment.
The mayhem as has been described by people on both sides of the political spectrum started soon after government forces launched a cordon-and-search operation at Laroo village.
An encounter ensued between a joint team of forces and militants, leading to the killing of three Jaish-e-Mohammad cadres including Shahid Ahmad Tantary of Wangam Shopian, Zubair Ahmad Lone of Ahwatoo Kulgam and Yazil Ahmad Makroo of Arwani Bijbehara.