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Shopian killings: Political parties, traders, lawyers hit streets

Srinagar: A day after five civilians were killed during the clashes in South Kashmir’s Shopian district, the mainstream political parties, lawyers and trade bodies on Monday hit the streets to protest against the civilian killings, demanding an immediate end to the bloodbath in Kashmir.
Five militants including an Assistant Professor of Kashmir University and a top Hizbul Mujahideen commander, Saddam Padder were killed in a gunfight in Badigam village of south Kashmir’s Shopian district while equal number of civilian were also killed in the subsequent clashes at different places in the area.
On Monday morning, the leaders from opposition National conference (NC) carried out a protest rally from its Nawa-e-Subah headquarters here to TRC.
The protesters headed by NC General Secretary, Ali Muhammad Sagar and other senior leaders including Akbar Lone and Mubarak Gul chanted slogans against the government as well as the civilian killings in the Valley.
Talking to reporters during the protest rally, Sagar condemned the civilian killings in Kashmir, saying that the government has failed to revoke AFSPA from the Jammu and Kashmir due to which the civilian killings are going unabated.
He said that instead of winning the hearts of people as promised by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the government is using military options. “No process could be seen on the ground regarding dialogue process. The government has failed to take measures in this regard,” he added.
Sagar said that the forces have been given licenses to kill the Kashmiris at their own will. “The commitments and the promises done by Pm Modi are nowhere,” he said.
He also lashed at the government over the death of a young protestor who was crushed to death by a police vehicle in Noorbagh area of Srinagar.
The Valley traders also took to the streets to protest against the Shopian carnage. However, police foiled their march in Srinagar.
Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation (KTMF) members headed by its president, Muhammad Yaseen Khan assembled at Abi Guzar and tried to march towards Civil Secretariat.
As soon as the protesters carrying banners reading slogans reached Residency road, police foiled their attempt and detained score of its members including Khan.
Prior to their detention, the protesting traders raised slogans in favour of justice.
Khan told reporters that the traders are ready to suffer any losses but cannot tolerate “excesses on innocent people”.
“Government has been misleading the world by portraying that problems in Kashmir are a result of unemployment and lack of opportunities for the youth. This is a false propaganda as they have been proven wrong now. By coming out on roads we want to convey a message to the entire world about sufferings of common Kashmiris,” Khan said.
Meanwhile, lawyers also staged protest against the civilian killings in Shopian on Sunday.
Kashmir High Court Bar Association (KHCBA) members headed by its General Secretary, G N Shaheen carried out a protest rally from High court complex towards Civil Secretariat amid sloganeering against the civilian killings.
Terming the Shopian carnage as ‘barbaric’, the lawyers demanded ‘Right to self-determination’ for Kashmiri’s.
While carrying banners and placards, the protesters marched towards Civil Secretariat.
However, police disallowed them to march towards Secretariat.
Meanwhile, AIP president and MLA Langate, Engineer Rasheed led a protest rally towards Civil Secretariat against the Shopian carnage.
However, police intercepted them ahead of Secretariat’s gate and detained scores including Er Rasheed, Dr. Bari Nayak, Prince Parvez, Zeeshan Pandith, Gh. Nabi Mir, Sheeban Ashie and lodged them in Police Station Rajbagh and Karan Nagar.
Meanwhile, following the Secretariat Gherao call given by Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL), scores of pro-freedom leaders were detained by the authorities after they tried to march towards Secretariat.
Reports said that Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was detained today after he defied house detention and tried to march towards Secretariat in Srinagar against Shopian killings.
Pertinently, JRL comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik had appealed people to stage a peaceful sit-in outside the Secretariat today.
Mirwaiz defied his detention and came out of his Nigeen residence. “A police party stationed there detained him and lodged him at Nigeen police station,” said a Hurriyat leader.
Earlier, Senior Hurriyat (M) leader, Hilal Ahmad War was also detained at Maisuma after he tried to march towards the secretariat.
He was lodged at Kothi Bagh Police Station, Hurriyat leader said. (KNS)