By News Desk | Photographs by Shahid Tantray | Srinagar, Kashmir
On the call of Mutahida Majlis-e-Mashawarat – a joint forum of resistance groups, complete shutdown was observed in Kashmir valley today. The groups has been demanding the mortal remains of Muhammad Maqbool Butt, and Muhammad Afzal Guru, who were hanged and then buried in Tihar prison, New Delhi.
Shops, business establishments, petrol pumps remained closed, in summer capital Srinagar, and most of the public transport remained off the roads. The attendance of employees at the government offices was thin. Additional number of police and paramilitary forces personal were deployed in volatile areas of city to foil any protest rally.
Eyewitnesses said that after Friday prayers, dozens of protesters appeared in Maisuma, who were demanding the mortal remains of Butt and Guru. The protesters were also chanting pro-freedom slogans. However, the policemen deployed in the area, stopped them to move towards Lal Chowk- the main city center, and were confined to Maisuma locality by erecting concertina wires. The protest ended peacefully.
In the volatile old city, scores of youth came on streets after Friday prayers, and threw stones on Police and paramilitary forces in Kawdara and Rajouri Kadal. Police, while responding back, fired dozens of teargas shells on the protesting youth, who offered stiff resistance. There were no reports of any injury and arrests in the clashes.
In South Kashmir’s Shopian, Kulgam, Islamabad districts, hundreds of people held pro freedom protests after Friday prayers, demanding the mortal remains of both the Kashmiris. In Shopian, the protesters were led by Mirwaiz South Kashmir, Qazi Yasir, while Hurriyat Conference (G) Chairman, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, addressed the gathering over phone. As soon as protests ended, the youth threw stones on police in different areas of South Kashmir, including Pulwama chowk, Qoimuh, Shopian Bazar, and Islamabad town, eyewitnesses said. Police chased the stone throwing youth, and fired teargas shells.
There were reports of protests from different areas of Varmul, Kupwara, Sopore and Bandipora in North Kashmir.