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Kupwara killings paralyse life across Kashmir

Jehangir Rashid
Early Times Report
Srinagar, Apr 14: Normal life continues to be paralyzed in Kashmir valley due to the strike call that has been given following the killing of four civilians in two separate firing incidents in North Kashmir's frontier district of Kupwara on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Reports reaching here said that the strike call given by the separatists against the killings evoked almost complete response from the people in all the districts and towns of the Kashmir valley today as well. However, the situation remained by and large normal with very few incidents of stone pelting reported from the valley.
Majority of the shops and commercial establishments remained closed in districts like Srinagar, Kupwara, Baramulla, Bandipora, Budgam, Anantnag, Pulwama, Shopian, Kulgam and Ganderbal. The story was also the same in the other towns and townships like Handwara, Langate, Sopore, Pattan, Tangmarg, Sumbal, Chadoora, Bijbehara, Pampore, Awantipora and Kangan.
While the public transport was off the roads in districts and towns in the valley, skeletal movement of private transport was noticed at these places. Fearing trouble most of the people remained indoors and decided not to venture out. Due to the Government holiday the attendance in Government offices and Government educational institutions was zero while as majority of the private schools also remained closed across the valley.
Reports of protests have been received from some of the areas in the valley. People mostly agitated youth took to streets at Handwara, Langate and Drugmulla in Kupwara district and carried out protest demonstration against the killing of four civilians in the district over the past two days. Protests were also reported from Palhallan-Pattan, Sopore, HMT-Zainakote and Pulwama areas. However, barring minor injuries to few persons the protesters dispersed peacefully.
At the same time, the authorities imposed restrictions in some of the areas of Kupwara district and Srinagar district. In the Kupwara district the restrictions were imposed in main Kupwara town, Handwara, Langate and Drugmulla areas. In the summer capital of the State, restrictions were imposed in areas falling under the jurisdiction of Nowhatta, Khanyar, Maharaj Gunj, Safa Kadal, Rainawari and Maisuma police stations.
A police spokesman said that situation remained largely peaceful throughout the Kashmir valley, though few incidents of stone pelting were reported from Handwara and Srinagar. He said that 'miscreants' pelted stones in Magam-Handwara, Zakoora and HMT areas of Srinagar.
"The deployments exercised maximum restraint and there were no reports of injuries to any civilian although some cops were injured one of them seriously who was referred to Srinagar from Handwara. The general public is once again requested to please refrain from indulging in lawlessness, remain calm and help the administration in maintaining peace and order," said the police spokesman.
Meanwhile, an official spokesman said that Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has deputed Rural Development and Law Minister, Abdul Haq Khan to Kupwara in order to review the overall law & order situation there. The spokesman said that the Minister today visited the families of deceased persons and assured them of speedy action in the matter.
It would be in place to mention here that four civilians namely Naeem Qadir Bhat, Mohammad Iqbal, Raja Begum and Jahangir Ahmad Wani got killed in separate firing and teargas shelling incidents at Handwara and Drugmulla over the past two days.
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