Separatist bandh affects normal life in Kashmir Valley

A separatist-sponsored strike to protest the death of a teenager in police firing disrupted normal life in the Kashmir Valley today.

Srinagar: A separatist-sponsored strike to protest the death of a teenager in police firing disrupted normal life in the Kashmir valley today even as curfew-like situation prevailed in the city with security forces strictly imposing prohibitory orders.

Life in the valley came to a standstill as shops and business markets, educational institutions and semi-government offices remained closed in response to a call given by both factions of Hurriyat Conference against what they called "systematic killing of innocent youths".

19-year-old Javid Ahmad Malla, who was returning home after attending funeral of his cousin, Mohammad Rafiq Bangroo, was killed and four others were injured when CRPF personnel opened fire on a group of agitating youth trying to set on fire the mobile bunker of 161 battalion of CRPF at Noorbagh locality of the old city.

The death sparked off massive protests in the city till late last night resulting in injuries to 45 people, including ten policemen.

Residents of old city complained that curfew has been imposed as they were not allowed to move out of their houses, but police denied having imposed curfew and said law enforcing agencies were strictly implementing the prohibitory orders.

Despite stringent restrictions, people took to streets in Sanatnagar area of uptown city and Shalimar on the banks of Dal Lake to protest the alleged "unabated" violation of
human rights in Kashmir.

People also came on roads in Handwara town of Kupwara district to protest against the killing of Malla and two others in old city within a week.

Inspector General of Police, Kashmir, Farooq Ahmad termed the situation in the Valley as calm.

"Barring minor protests in some parts, the situation in the rest of the city is calm," Farooq said.
"There isn`t any curfew in a strict sense, we just have imposed Section 144 of CrPc. The rest of the valley is peaceful and we expect it to remain placid throughout the
day," he said.

Minor protests broke out in Shalimar area of the city and Handwara in Kupwara district, which were soon dispersed, he added.
He said restrictions have been imposed in the areas of old city falling under police stations of Safakadal, Maharajganj, Khanyar, Rainawari and Nowhatta.


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