Kashmir Remains Calm Barring Stray Incidents

19 April 2015
The Tribune (Chandigarh)
Azhar Qadri

Srinagar: The situation in the Kashmir valley eased on Sunday despite scattered incidents of demonstrations after a teenager was killed in police firing yesterday during a shutdown called by Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani. The region resumed its business and public transport was back on roads even as the usual rush was missing due to the weekly holiday and rainy weather. Several key separatist leaders, including Syed Ali Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, are under detention at their residences. Budgam district in central Kashmir, where the youth was killed in police firing on Saturday morning, observed a shutdown while police and paramilitary personnel were deployed in strength to contain any disruption to law and order. Suhail Ahmad Sofi, 17, was killed yesterday when he was shot by the police during a demonstration. However, the state government acted quickly and within hours after the incident arrested the two policemen, including an Assistant Sub Inspector, who had fired at the teenager. A police official in Budgam district said there were a few minor incidents of stone-throwing but the situation remained under control. A few incidents of stone-throwing were also reported from Srinagar city, where demonstrators pelted police personnel with stones. The clashes between protesters and the police continued intermittently through the day at Batamaloo in the city. The members of the hardline separatist group of Geelani also held a sit-in at Press Colony in the city here against the killing of the teenager. A few dozen members of the hardline Hurriyat faction who were led by Geelani's son-in-law Altaf Ahmad Shah raised slogans against the civilian killings and detention of its leaders. 'We are protesting to tell the world that India's promise of democracy is a deception,' Shah told reporters. He said the arrest of two policemen was just eyewash. The Kashmir region has gone through a turbulent week after two youths, including a teenager and the brother of a militant commander, were killed in separate incidents and separatist leader Masarat Alam was arrested for anti-national sloganeering during a rally here.