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Civilian killed during CASO in Srinagar

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Clashes rock several old city areas; JRL calls for shutdown today

Women wail and protest against the killing of Qamarwari youth on Thursday. Photo/Javed Khan

Srinagar: A civilian was killed during a cordon and search operation by security forces in Noorbagh area of Qamarwari in Srinagar city on Thursday, a police official said.

Security forces had launched a search operation in the area following information about presence of militants there, the official said.

Some gunshots were heard during the search operation and later the body of a civilian, identified as Muhammad Saleem Malik, was recovered, he added.

A police spokesman, in a statement issued in the evening, said that at Noorbagh in Srinagar city, security forces acting on a credible input cordoned a cluster of houses where the hiding militants fired indiscriminately resulting in death of an individual identified as Saleem Malik son of Mohammad Yaqoob Malik.

Locals, however, alleged that security forces’ firing led to the death.

Angry residents resorted to stone-pelting on the forces, the official said, adding the clashes were still going on.

The family members of slain youth disputed the police claim saying he was killed in cold blood.

“There were no militants and there was no exchange of fire. Muhammad Saleem Malik was shot at by police and killed,” said a local witness.

“In the wee hours, Saleem heard some voices and thought somebody may had barged in to steal his sheep. So he rushed out of his home crying ‘thief, thief’. He was shot at and killed by forces who had launched a CASO,” said a family member.

The slain youth was laid to rest at Eidgah amid pro-freedom slogans.

Witnesses said that the forces lobbed several tear gas shells as the body of Muhammad Saleem Malik was being marched to Eidgah from his native Noorbagh area where thousands of people participated in his funeral prayers.

Clashes were also reported from different areas of Srinagar following the civilian killing. Sources said that at least six protestors sustained injuries.

At Kashmir University campus, students from various departments came out of their classes and assembled in the premises of Humanities department to protest the killing of a civilian in Noorbagh area of Qamarwari.

The protests, however, remained peaceful.

National Conference, Peoples Democratic Party, Congress and CPI(M) have condemned the civilian killing demanding a probe and swift action against those responsible for the killing.

Meanwhile, the Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) has called for shutdown tomorrow against the killing of a civilian in Qamarwari area of Srinagar during a cordon-and-search-operation.

“JRL asks People to register their strong protest by observing a complete hartal tomorrow Friday 28th September against the continued gruesome and barbaric killing of Kashmiri’s at the hands of Indian forces, arrest spree of resistance activists and supporters. State terror has been unleashed under CASO to wipe out and harass Kashmiri’s unabashedly!” Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, one of the three leaders tweeted.

Mobile Internet restored

Srinagar: Mobile Internet was restored after remaining suspended for nearly 12 hours in Srinagar and Budgam districts on Thursday.

The service was blocked today morning in the wake of killing of a civilian Saleem Malik during a cordon-and-search-operation (CASO) in Noorbagh area of Qamarwari and an encounter in Chadoora area of Budgam.

The service was restored around 5:15 pm.

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