Srinagar: The city of Srinagar was locked down by the authorities in order to prevent the march called by the Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) against the civilian killings in Pulwama.
JRL had called for a three-day shutdown and mourning in Kashmir and urged people to march towards the army base in Badami Bagh in Srinagar.
Heavy deployment of police and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) were in place in Srinagar’s old city area other areas.
All shops, public transport and educational institutes remained closed on Monday. Joint Resistance leaders Syed Ali Geelani and Mirwaiz Umer Farooq were placed under house arrest. While Muhammad Yasin Malik had gone underground to avoid being arrested, he was later detained when he tried to march from Maisuma to Badami Bagh.
Army had asked people to avoid the march towards 15 corps headquarters situated at Badami Bagh Cantonment.
In a statement, an army spokesperson said, “Indian Army is always with the people of Kashmir and would foil all such ‘evil attempts of militant-Separatist-Pakistan nexus’ to pit the civilian population against the Security Forces.”
He said the Indian army along with all the agencies and the civil administration is “fighting militancy and proxy war, sponsored by Pakistan and its proxies in Kashmir.”
Seven civilians were killed after armed forces opened fire on civilian protesters near the site of a gunfight in Kharpora Sarnoo village of Pulwama district on Saturday. Three militants and an army man were killed in the gunfight.
National Conference Vice President Omar Abdullah while reacting on the killings said that it is a massacre and there is no other way to describe it.
Earlier, Abdullah while reacting to the civilian killings had said that it was ‘another blood soaked weekend in Kashmir‘.
PDP President Mehbooba Mufti while reacting to the civilian killings said that there would be no probe which would bring back the dead. She also asked that ‘is this what was expected from the Governor rule’.
She also said that no country can win a war by killing its own people.
Peoples’ Conference chief Sajad Lone while reacting on the civilian killings said that the administration seriously needs to evaluate the cost of such operations. He added that ‘hope the administration gives up its ‘Rambo mindset‘.
Police, in their statement said that they were ‘deeply grieved’ by the loss of civilian lives, however, claimed that the crowd came ‘dangerously close‘ to the gunfight site.
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