Separatist-called shutdown over Ph.D scholar killing hits valley

Srinagar: Life across the Kashmir Valley was affected by a separatist-called shutdown on Friday protesting the killing of a Ph.D scholar-turned-militant commander in a gunfight in Kupwara district.

Separatist conglomerate Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) led by Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and Yasin Malik called the protest shutdown after Hizbul commander Manan Bashir Wani was killed on Thursday.

Wani was a scholar in the Aligarh Muslim University in Uttar Pradesh before joining militancy in January. He belonged to Lolab area of Kupwara district where hundreds of mourners attended his funeral on Thursday. Restrictions have been imposed in the district to prevent protests.

Wani and his associate, another Kashmiri militant Ashiq Zargar, were killed by the security forces in Shatgund village of Handwara tehsil during a cordon and search operation launched after a tip off about their presence.

Shops, public transport, businesses and educational institutions remained closed here and other district headquarters of the valley. Skeletal private transport though moved on uptown Srinagar city roads.

Apprehending student protests authorities ordered suspension of class work in schools, colleges and Kashmir University in Srinagar.

Train services between north Kashmir’s Baramulla town and the Bannihal town in Jammu region were also suspended as a precautionary measure.

Heavy deployments of police and paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) was made in the old city area and other law and order sensitive places here.