As Kashmir and parts of Jammu observed complete shutdown over the death of truck conductor Zahid Ahmad Bhat, the J&K government on Monday imposed a curfew in several parts of south Kashmir and Srinagar’s old city area to prevent protests. However, people in south Kashmir’s Botengo village defied the curfew and took to the streets after Zahid’s funeral. Angry protesters even clashed with the police.
Despite the curfew, hundreds turned out for Zahid’s funeral. Amid pro-Pakistan slogans, the protesters also raised a Pakistani flag. Slogans were also raised against the ruling parties in the state — the BJP and the PDP.
Zahid died on Sunday after being severely burnt in a petrol bomb attack on his truck at Udhampur on October 9. Soon after his funeral, violent clashes erupted in the village. The police fired teargas shells to disperse the stone-throwing protesters. The clashes in the village continued despite rain and curfew.
In the Valley, all shops and educational and business establishments remained closed, while public and private transport stayed off the roads.
There was heavy deployment of police, paramilitary forces and Army, especially along the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway.
Amid mounting tension, the Islamic University of Science and Technology (IUST) was forced to postpone, for the second time, its first ever convocation where Union minister Smriti Irani was scheduled to be the chief guest.
The impact of the shutdown was felt in Jammu region as well.
A complete shutdown was observed in Doda, where people took to the streets, demanding a ban on the RSS and its affiliates. Shutdown was also observed in Kishtwar, Bhaderwah, Gool and other parts of Jammu.
Meanwhile, the state Cabinet meeting, chaired by Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, approved ex gratia relief of Rs5 lakh for the family of Zahid, and Rs 3 lakh for the family of Showkat Ahmad, who was injured in the same attack and is undergoing treatment in New Delhi. The next of kin of the two will also get government jobs.
4 more detained in Jammu
Four more persons have been detained in connection with the attack on the truck in Udhampur under Public Safety Act.
The four people detained under the PSA are Jasbir Singh, Rahul Sharma, Suneet Singh and Rameshwar Singh alias Guchhu, all residents of Udhampur.
With this, the total number of people detained under PSA has touched nine.