A day before the second death anniversary of popular rebel and Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani was observed in the Kashmir valley; the government forces killed three civilians including a minor girl in the Redwani area of south Kashmir’s Kulgam district.
According to the officials, the army’s patrolling party opened fire upon a group of youth after they threw stones on them in Hawoora area of Khudwani near Redwani area.
In the particular incident, five persons suffered injuries, later all the injured were shifted to the nearby Primary Health Centre (PHC), where three of them were declared brought dead.
The deceased have been identified as 22-year-old, Shakir Ahmad Khanday son of Mohd Hussain Khanday, 20-year-old Irshad Ahmad son of Abdul Majeed, and the 16-year-old girl, Andleeba Jan daughter of Ali Mohammad.
Following the incident, Kulgam saw thousands of mourners, taking three fallen voices to the graveyard in Hawoora village.
Soon after the funeral, the people took to streets to stage massive anti-government demonstrations, against the army for opening firing which left three civilians dead.
Between the chaos of multiple funerals, a group of militants, reportedly 5 to 7, appeared to offer frequent gun-salutes to the civilians.
Soon after the news flew, authorities snapped mobile internet service in the following districts of south Kashmir: Shopian, Pulwama, Kulgam, and Anantnag.
According to police, “An army unit was patrolling in district Kulgam was pelted by miscreants, while moving through Hawoora Mishipora area. The army tried to disperse the miscreants which resulted in the killings of three civilians.”
Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, and Mohammad Yasin Malik has strongly condemned the ‘brutal killings’ by government forces of three civilians including a minor girl Andleeb Jan.
According to the statement issued by JRL, firing live bullets on civilians in order to kill them reflects the policy of Government of India to crush all dissent with the use of absolute force and might.
The leadership while reiterating the call for complete shutdown on tomorrow July 8, said it will also be observed as a black day against the Kulgam killings. They urged people to offer funeral prayers in absentia for those killed in Kulgam massacre and to observe a blackout after 8 pm tomorrow against this continued bloodbath.
Meanwhile, Former Chief Minister and PDP President, Mehbooba Mufti also expressed deep anguish over the killing of three civilians. “It is unfortunate for the state that human blood is being spilled and the need is to put an end to it,” she said in her statement.
However, in the morning on Saturday, the authorities imposed the strict curfew in the Tral township of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district, and strict restrictions in the parts of Srinagar.
Police and paramilitary personnel have been deployed in the town to prevent rallies and other pro-freedom programmes. All the entry points to the Tral have been blocked by the government forces.
According to the locals, several announcements of the curfew were made by the authorities early in the morning.
Meanwhile, the train services have also been suspended by the government today. Later on, the government suspended the internet services throughout the valley.
Burhan Wani, who belonged from the same area was 22-year-old when he was killed in an encounter on 8 July 2016, along with two of his associates in Bamdooru village of Kokernag in Anantnag district. His death triggered an uprising in the Valley in which over 120 civilians were killed by government forces, and went on to known as ‘Kashmir in 2016’.