Shutdown, Protests In Shopian After Killing Of 2 Militants

Shutdown, Protests In Shopian After Killing Of 2 Militants

14 February 2014
Kashmir Times
Shabir Ahmed

Srinagar: A complete shutdown was observed in south Kashmir's Shopian district today after the killing of two locals militants in an encounter with security forces yesterday. Thousands of people participated in separate funeral prayers of the slain in their ancestral villages. Two local militants, Abid Ahmad Rather and Arshad Ahmad Shiekh, a district commander for HM outfit were gunned down in five hour long encounter with forces in Pinjoora area of the district on Thursday. One of their associates had managed to flee. Police claimed that the duo was operating in the district for last one year. The killing of the two triggered massive protests and clashes in the area. Forces resorted to tear gas shelling and fired pellets resulting into the injuries to at least six persons with three of them receiving pellets in eyes. To mourn the death of the two, reports said, all the shops, business establishments, private offices and educational institutions remained closed in Shopian town and its peripheries today where as transport remained off the roads. Reports said that soon after Friday prayers, people assembled outside Jamia Masjid and staged protests. The protesters mostly youth attacked Court Complex Shopian with stones and rocks. The police and CRPF men deployed in the area resorted to teargas shelling and cane charge to disperse the protesting and stone pelting youth. The clashes continued for hours together, reports said. Thousands of people, reports said, participated in the funeral prayers of the slain. In Vehil area of Shopian, residents offered funeral prayers twice due to the huge participation of the people, witnesses said. In Hirpora, native village of another slain, Arshad Ahmad, reports said, thousands of people from different villages of the town participated in the funeral prayers. 'He was buried amid pro-freedom and anti-slogans slogans,' said an eyewitness. Hurriyat (G) chairman, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, addressed the funeral procession over phone. In his address, reports said, Geelani urged the people to stay away from upcoming parliamentary and assembly polls.