Authorities on Sunday imposed restrictions in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district and parts of Srinagar because of the shutdown called by separatists against the killing of seven civilians during an encounter the previous day, PTI reported.
Seven civilians were killed and several people injured in firing by security forces during clashes that followed a gunfight with suspected militants in Pulwama district on Saturday. Three suspected militants and a soldier were killed during the gunfight.
The separatist Joint Resistance Leadership called for a three-day shutdown and a protest march to the Badamibagh Army Cantonment in Srinagar on Monday. The Army on Sunday urged people not to march towards the cantonment, asking them not to heed to the “misleading call” given by separatist groups, PTI reported.
“Loss of any civilian life is always painful for the security forces,” an Army spokesperson said. “However, the vested interests are continuously at work to instigate and mobilise gullible youths to encounter sites,” the spokesperson said, adding that the call for a protest march was another such attempt.
The spokesperson said the Army, security agencies and civil administration were “fighting terrorism and proxy-war sponsored by Pakistan and its proxies in Kashmir”.
Restrictions were imposed under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure in Pulwama district and six police station areas of Srinagar – Nowhatta, Khanyar, Rainawari, Safakadal, M R Gunj and Maisuma, reported Greater Kashmir. An unidentified official said restrictions were imposed as a “precautionary measure to maintain law and order and avoid any untoward incident”.
A complete shutdown is being observed in Chenab Valley’s Banihal, Khari, Bhadarwah, Doda, Thathri, Gandoh and Kishtwar areas. Train services in Kashmir Valley remained suspended for the second successive day on Sunday for “security reasons”.
Shops, fuel stations and other businesses were shut on Sunday. Mobile internet services were suspended in several parts of the Valley and security personnel were deployed.
Former MLA Sheikh Abdul Rashid was detained during a protest march that he held in Srinagar with supporters of his Awami Ittehad Party, PTI reported. They were marching from his official residence to the local office of United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan, a police official said. Rashid said protestors were chanting slogans against security forces and seeking the “implementation of UN resolutions to end bloodshed”.
“It is obvious that New Delhi has no resolution to Kashmir dispute except pellets, bullets, massacres, draconian laws and state terrorism,” he said. “Governor Satya Pal Malik, the state DGP [director general of police] and the Army chief must own the moral responsibility of the killings rather making fake enquiries and condemnations.”