Kashmir Shuts Down, 1000's Attend Students Funeral
THE CITIZEN BUREAU
SRINAGAR: A moderate to complete shutdown is being observed today with clashes breaking out in parts of south Kashmir where a college student was shot dead, allegedly by security forces, during a search operation yesterday evening.
Thousands of people attended the funeral of Adil Farooq Magray, a BA first year student at Shopian Degree College, who was killed in Shopian's Ganawpora village last evening when security forces allegedly opened fire to disperse a protest demonstration against the search operation.
According to reports and witnesses, amid sloganeering, three rounds of funeral prayers were held to accommodate mourners who had poured into the native village of the slain student to attend his funeral prayers.
"People from across Kashmir had come to attend the funeral. Massive sloganeering reverberated the village before and after the funeral prayers. Even women and children participated in protests," Ghulam Rasool Magray, a resident of Ganawpora told The Citizen over phone.
Last evening, a large contingent of police, CRPF and the Army laid a cordon around the village just when people were preparing to break the fast in the holy month of Ramazan and started door-to-door searches.
Police sources said two militants were hiding in a residential house in the village. Witnesses said the residents, however, resented the searches and came out of their homes to stage protests which soon boiled down into clashes.
Security forces burst teargas and stun grenades and fired pellets to disperse the protesters who resorted to heavy stone pelting. "Adil was hit by a bullet in his chest. He was taken to a hospital where doctors declared him brought dead," a local said, wishing anonymity.
Sources said the two militants, believed to be locals, managed to take advantage of the clashes and escape from the area.
The J&K Police said in a statement: "During the search operation, an unruly mob started heavy stone-pelting on the forces and also a brief exchange of fire took place. One person was brought to District Hospital with bullet injury from Ganawpora who subsequently succumbed to his injury".
Meanwhile, clashes broke out in the adjoining Pulwama district on Wednesday against the killing of the student. Witnesses said agitated youth took out pro-freedom and anti-India demos on streets while police fired teargas to disperse them.
Clashes also broke out in south Kashmir's Awantipora where students of Islamic University staged protests on Srinagar-Jammu highway against the killing of Adil who was shot dead.
(Cover Photograph BASIT ZARGAR: of a funeral of a 15 year old school boy killed in police firing inin Padgampora village. Ten other civilians have been injured.)