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Kashmir shuts to mourn civilian killings

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Train, mobile services suspended; shutdown in Chenab Valley areas too

In the wake of strike and restrictions, this child tries his toy cycle skills on the deserted road at Nawhatta near Jama Masjid on Sunday. Photo/Javed Khan

Srinagar, Dec 16: Kashmir Valley observed complete shutdown Sunday in protest against the killing of seven civilians in government forces’ firing in Pulwama yesterday. Authorities had also imposed restrictions in Pulwama and parts of Srinagar as a “precautionary measure” in view of the strike called by the separatists.

Restrictions under Section 144 CrPC were imposed in Pulwama district of south Kashmir and six police station areas of Srinagar, officials said.

In Srinagar, curbs were imposed in Nowhatta, Khanyar, Rainawari, Safakadal, M R Gunj and Maisuma police station areas.

The officials said the restrictions were imposed “as a precautionary measure to maintain law and order and avoid any untoward incident”.

Separatists under the banner of Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) Saturday called for a strike across Kashmir on Sunday against the killing of the civilians.

The JRL - comprising Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik – also asked people to march to the headquarters of the Army's Chinar Corps at Badamibagh here on Monday.

Seven civilians were killed and several others injured after government forces opened fire on protestors near an encounter site in Sirnoo village of Pulwama district of south Kashmir on Saturday.

Three militants and a soldier were killed in the encounter while two other soldiers were injured.

In the wake of strike, shops, fuel stations and other business establishments remained shut in the city.

Public transport also remained off the roads while few private cars, cabs and auto-rickshaws were seen plying in some areas.

The weekly flea market –Sunday Market -- was also shut. Similar reports of shutdown were received from other district headquarters of the Valley.

Police and paramilitary forces were deployed in strength at sensitive places to avoid any law and order problem. However, there were minor clashes in some areas as groups of youth took to streets and erected barricades on the main roads so as to thwart whatever little public movement was there.

High-speed mobile Internet also remained suspended in most parts of the Valley, including in Srinagar.

Also, the train service remained suspended for the second successive day today.

Meanwhile, shutdown was also observed in Chenab Valley’s Banihal, Khari, Bhadarwah, Doda, Thathri, Gandoh and Kishtwar areas against Pulwama civilian killings.

Reports said all the shops and other business establishments were closed in all the townships.

They said the local traffic also remained affected due to the shutdown in the areas.

President Anjuman Islamia Bhadarwah ((AIB), Pervaiz Ahmed Sheikh had called for the shutdown.

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