In occupied Kashmir, complete shutdown, marked by forceful anti-India demonstrations, was observed, today, against the killing of PhD scholar, Dr Manan Wani, and his associate, Aashiq Hussain Zargar, by Indian troops, yesterday.
Call for the shutdown was given by the Joint Resistance Leadership comprising Syed Ali Gilani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik to pay tributes to Dr Wani and his associate. All shops, business establishments and petrol pumps remained closed while transport was off the road.
The occupation authorities imposed strict restrictions in Srinagar, Lolab and Kupwara areas and deployed Indian troops and police personnel in strength in other towns to prevent people from staging demonstrations against the killings. Juma prayers could not be held at Srinagar’s historic Jamia Masjid due to the restrictions. The authorities continued to place almost all Hurriyat leaders under house arrest or in detention.
Despite restrictions and heavy deployment of Indian forces’ personnel, thousands of people staged anti-India demonstrations in Srinagar, Badgam, Beerwah, Ganderbal, Pampore, Pulwama, Kulgam, Islamabad, Shopian, Sogam, Lolab, Tikipora, Handwara, Kupwara, Bandipora and other areas. The protesters raised high-pitched pro-freedom, pro-Pakistan and anti-India slogans. People also offered funeral prayers in absentia for Dr Mannan Wani and Aashiq Hussain Zargar at various places. Indian police used force against the protesters in Srinagar, Kupwara, Shopian, Islamabad and other areas, triggering clashes between the demonstrators and the police personnel. Several people sustained injuries in the police action. People also clashed with Indian troops after they launched a cordon and search operation in Nadigam area of Shopian district.
The Joint Resistance Leadership in a statement in Srinagar paid glowing tributes to martyred Dr Mannan Wani and Aashiq Hussain Zargar. The JRL said that it was an immense tragedy of Kashmir that budding youth, professors and engineers, intellectuals and writers like Manan Wani were paying the price for India’s illegal occupation of their homeland. Other Hurriyat leaders and organizations also paid homage to martyred Dr Manan Wani and Ashiq Hussain Zargar.
On the other hand, complete shutdown will be observed, tomorrow, in poll-bound areas of Srinagar, Tral, Awantipora, Mattan, Pahalgam, Aishmuqam, Seer Hamdan, Hajin and Uri to send a message to India that the Kashmiris reject sham polls and only want right to self-determination.
The occupation authorities shifted an activist of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat Jammu and Kashmir, Sheikh Sartaj, from Islamabad town to Kot Bhalwal Jail in Jammu after booking him under draconian law, Public Safety Act. He was arrested on the 18th of last month.