With the killing of two civilians in Kashmir’s Kulgam district and Shopian town, one in an encounter between security forces and militants and the other in the outcry that ensued with the protest against the security forces led to dubious imposition of curfew in the conflict ridden valley of Kashmir.
S.J.M. Gilani, inspector general of police (IGP) Kashmir zone said, “There will be no curfew anywhere in the valley” and asserted that he will not permit any curb on the freedom of movement of the people.
In the encounter between the security forces and the militants on February 12 that lasted for hours, two army men were martyred and four militants were killed.
The killing of the civilians conjured a mixed response with the separatist leaders calling for a valley-wide strike.
According to the police official, the movement of people was not restricted and vehicles carrying goods and commodities were given easy access to the valley through Srinagar-Jammu national highway.
The official also added that most of the shops, fuel stations and other business establishments were shut across Srinagar; public as well as private transport vehicles were working in many areas. Meanwhile the authorities have deployed heavy security forces across the valley to avoid any kind of violence.
The chairmen of both factions of Hurriyat Conference — Syed Ali Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and JKLF chief Mohammad Yasin Malik had called for a complete shutdown on Monday. They have summoned a ‘Kulgam Chalo’ march on February 15 to dissent the civilian killings peacefully.
The opposition led by Omar Abdullah’s National Conference (NC) demanded an “impartial and time-bound probe into the killing” while the High Court Bar Association has also condemned “the brutal act of firing on the unarmed civilians” and has braced the strike call by separatists.
The state government spokesperson and education minister Naeem Akhtar expressed condolence over the loss of the innocent lives and has promised a non-partisan scrutiny into the killings