Kashmir shuts over Gaza killings

The city center Lal Chowk during shutdown today. Photograph by Shahid Tantray


Amid anti-Israel protests a complete shutdown was observed across the Kashmir Valley on Thursday, in response to a call given by the Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani to protest against the ongoing attack in Gaza and to mourn the death of 7 people, killed in an accident with an Army recovery van yesterday.

Public transport mostly remained off the roads, while thin attendance was witnessed in government offices and some shops remained open in the outskirts of Srinagar city including Jawahar Nagar, Raj Bagh, Sonawar, Dalgate and Rambagh.

Police and paramilitary forces wearing riot gears and holding automatic rifles were deployed on the deserted streets of Srinagar, to foil any attempt of anti-Israel or anti-India protests. Heavy deployments of policemen were also reported in the old town along with the civil line areas.

Police sources told a local news agency that some youth tried to disrupt peace at various places in Srinagar by throwing stone at police and paramilitary forces in Saraf Kadal, Kaksarai, Daresh Kadal, Nowhatta, Court Road and Hari Singh High Street but police exercised maximum restraint and did not use any force.

Syed Imran, a student, told The Kashmir Walla, that India and Israel have been strategic partners which lead anger among the Kashmiri people. “It is the need of an hour to protest against India and Israel because both countries are occupying land illegally.”

“People should come forward and boycott Israeli products, because they earn money from it and same money is used to make weapons” said Imran. “Later on those weapons are used to kill innocent people in Gaza in the name of terror attack,” Imran said.

Protests were also reported from Baramulla, Bandipora, Pallahan where a youth, Masrat Tantray of Raipora got injured when a tear smoke-shell hit him. He was taken to the nearby hospital in Pattan.

Reports of shutdown came from South Kashmir as well where people torched Israeli flags and fought din-dong battles with government forces at Cheeni Chowk, Malakhnag, Dangerpora, Mattan and Kadipora, and other areas.

Kashmir Bar Association also expressed solidarity and sympathy with the members of the bereaved families and abstained from appearing before the High Court as well as Sadder Court Srinagar.

Meanwhile, Khawteen Tehreek Kashmir tried to take out a march in Srinagar, but police foiled their march and arrested its chairperson Zamrooda Habib along with her two other colleagues. Zamrooda soon before her arrest told reporters that this march was organized to impress upon the authorities to release all the Kashmir youth who have been languishing in different jails of State and across India. (with inputs from CNS)

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