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Kashmiris See Red After 20 Die on ‘Bloody Sunday’, Several Towns Shutdown

Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah also expressed alarm over more and more local youths joining militancy and blamed Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti for the new trend, which, he said, has emerged after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in 2016.

Sheikh Saaliq | News18.com@sheikh_saaliq

Updated:April 2, 2018, 11:32 PM IST
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Kashmiris See Red After 20 Die on ‘Bloody Sunday’, Several Towns Shutdown
Srinagar: KTMF raise slogans and hold placards during a protest at Lal Chowk in Srinagar on Monday. (PTI Photo by S Irfan)
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Anger was palpable on the streets of Kashmir a day after the ‘bloody Sunday’ in which 20 people, including 13 militants, four civilians and three armed forces men, were killed in different encounters in the southern part of the state.

Though armed forces have previously killed large groups of foreign militants in northern districts like Kupwara and Baramulla in recent years, Sunday’s three encounters was the first time in recent years that operations have been launched on such a huge scale against local militants in south Kashmir.

Over a 100 people were also injured after forces fired bullets and pellets to disperse the protesters. On Monday, protests rocked the streets in many parts of the valley in response to the killings.

An undeclared curfew was imposed in Kulgam town on Monday to prevent people from staging protests. A complete shutdown was also observed in several areas of Ramban district in Jammu region. Reports said the highway town of Banihal, Khari, Tethar and Chareel in Ramban district observed complete shutdown to mourn the death of 17 people.

The students of Kashmir University also offered funeral prayers in absentia for militants and civilians killed during three gunfights in Anantnag and Shopian. “The students held demonstrations inside their hostels as the main gates have been closed to prevent the boarders from coming out,” a protesting student told News18 over the phone.

Peaceful protests were also carried out by scores of traders who assembled near historic clock tower in Lal Chowk on Monday morning and held a demonstration against the killings.

Meanwhile, doctors and paramedical staff held a sit-in outside the sub-district hospital in Shopian to protest against the alleged indiscriminate firing at the hospital by the armed forces last night. The doctors met the deputy commissioner and presented him a memorandum seeking an investigation into the incident.

Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah also expressed alarm over more and more local youths joining militancy and blamed Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti for the new trend, which, he said, has emerged after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in 2016.

"Of the 12 confirmed dead, I understand 11 are local Kashmiris & (and) the identity of the 12th is being ascertained, not one so far is a foreign terrorist. Is no one in a position of power in Delhi alarmed by this because I certainly am!" Omar said in a series of tweets.

Return of Pellets

Staff at the Shri Maharaja Hari Singh hospital (SMHS) in Srinagar told News18 over the phone that the hospital witnessed scenes like that from the 2016 agitation, in which over 9,000 pellet victims were brought to the hospital.

“More than 30 people with pellet injuries were bought to the hospital for treatment yesterday. Most of the pellet victims had injuries in the eye,” a doctor on duty told News18. According to the eyewitness, the scenes in the hospital premises were chaotic as ambulance sirens rang through the area and volunteers rushed to clear the roads as more patients were brought in. Many patients had received bullet injuries.

“Many had bullet injuries on abdomen, chest, and limbs. They all were operated upon and are now stable,” he said. Similar scenes were also witnessed at Bone and Joint Hospital Srinagar. Over 10 persons with pellet and bullet injuries from different areas of the south Kashmir were received at the hospital on Sunday.

A 'Bloody Sunday'

Major newspapers across the valley on Monday carried out full page news covering the killings. All the major newspapers described the killing of 20 people as a 'bloody Sunday'. Greater Kashmir, valley's largest selling newspaper, ran a banner headline 'blood Sunday' followed by a comprehensive coverage of the how the encounters started at three different places and claimed 20 lives.

Rising Kashmir, another newspaper from Kashmir, also carried the same headline printed in red letters on the front page. The Kashmir Monitor ran the headline ’19 Killed On Bloody Sunday’.

Separatists Barred From Visiting South

The government forces arrested Jammu & Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chairman, Yasin Malik, earlier in the morning. JKLF spokesman said that Yasin Malik was arrested from his residence in Maisuma. Malik has been lodged at Kothi Bagh police station. Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL), comprising of Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik had called for Kashmir-wide shut-down on Sunday.

Authorities also placed Tehreek-e-Hurriyat Chairman Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai under house arrest in view of the killings of civilians and militants. Other senior Hurriyat leaders were also placed under detention to prevent the law and order situation from worsening further.

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| Edited by: Tarun Bhardwaj
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