Shutdown, restrictions close India-controlled Kashmir

18:54, June 21, 2010      

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Life across Muslim majority areas of Indiacontrolled Kashmir including the capital city Srinagar Monday came to a complete halt following a shutdown call and severe restrictions imposed by authorities, officials and locals said.

The shutdown call was given by all the separatist groups to protest the killing of 19-year-old boy Javaid Ahmad Malla allegedly in police action Sunday.

"People should strongly protest the ongoing killing of youth in Kashmir by the men in uniform to impress upon the international community that they would not accept the Indian oppression anymore, "said region's hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani.

The authorities fearing clashes in the Srinagar city have deployed hundreds of paramilitary troopers and policemen to impose restrictions. These men have blocked roads by placing barricades and coils of concertina to impede any procession. "The restrictions have been enforced to prevent clashes in the old city since Saturday morning to maintain law and order," said a police officer posted in the city.

Srinagar city grew tense Sunday morning and witnessed clashes when a youth Mohammed Rafiq Bangroo succumbed to injuries in hospital. Bangroo had sustained critical injuries in police action on June 13 and was since then struggling for his life.

Soon after news about Bangroo's death spread, the people poured on roads to participate in the funeral procession. However, police and paramilitary troopers fired into break the procession killing Malla and injuring several others. The people also clashed with the police and tried to pull down the paramilitary bunkers.

Business, shops, schools, banks and government offices remained closed in Srinagar and traffic was off the roads. Similar reports were received from other districts of the region.

In the overnight development the local government has transferred Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Srinagar and ordered an inquiry into the death of youth. "Death of any innocent is always a matter of concern and pain for any responsible government. We are conscious of it and will take all appropriate steps to ensure that no human rights violation occurs," region's Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said.

Since January this year the death toll of youth in alleged police action has gone to six in Srinagar city. Authorities have ordered probe in every killing. The killings triggered massive protests in the city and other districts of the region.

Source: Xinhua


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