Shopian Fallout: Shutdown In Valley, 12 Injured In Clashes

15 December 2009
The Indian Express

Srinagar: A shutdown in protest against the CBI finding in the Shopian case brought Kashmir valley to a standstill on Tuesday and led to violent clashes between groups of youths and police leaving a dozen persons injured. Fire broke out in a house at Bohrikadal in the old city during the clashes and efforts were on to douse the flames. Locals alleged that the fire was caused by indiscriminate teargas shelling by police. However, police denied the charge. The strike was called by a NGO Majlis-e-Mashawarat against the CBI report yesterday that the two young women in Shopian allegedly raped and murdered had actually died by drowning, triggering angry claims of a cover-up. The outfit alleged that the guilty were being shielded and chargesheet was being filed against innocents. Anticipating trouble, authorities placed under house arrest all top Hurriyat leaders including chairman of moderate faction Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, Shabir Ahmad Shah, Nayeen Ahmad Khan, official sources said. Shops and markets in Srinagar and other major towns of the valley remained closed, as the situation in the city and elsewhere in the valley remained tense. Aditional contingents of police and paramilitary forces were deployed in sensitive areas to maintain law and order. The clashes erupted at nearly a dozen places in Srinagar, two places in North Kashmir's Baramulla and South Kashmir's Pulwama town when police stopped hundreds of people shouting anti-CBI slogans from taking out processions. Police used batons and teargas to control the crowd. Giving a clean chit to four police officials in the case, CBI had also indicted 13 people including six doctors, five lawyers and two civilians for allegedly fabricating evidence.