Srinagar | Curfew were imposed in eight police station areas in Kashmir and several separatist leaders put under house in view of a strike called today to protest the death of a truck conductor who was injured in Udhampur petrol bomb attack.
Movement of people was restricted in Anantnag and Bijbehara police station areas in South Kashmir, a police official said, ahead of the funeral of conductor Zahid, who succumbed to his injuries at a Delhi hospital yesterday after battling for life for nine days. Similar strict restrictions have been imposed in six police station areas of Srinagar, where protests had broken out yesterday over the death.
The affected areas are M R Gunj, Nowhatta, Safa Kadal, Maisuma, Rainawari and Khanyar. Hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Jammu and Kashmir Democratic Freedom Party (JKDFP) leader Shabir Ahmad Shah were among several separatists placed under house arrest, the official said.
The restrictions have been imposed as a precautionary measure following violent protests yesterday in many parts of the Valley. As soon as the news about Zahid’s demise reached his Batengoo village, a spontaneous shutdown was observed yesterday and clashes between protesters and police had broken out there and in adjoining areas of Kulgam as also in several areas of Srinagar.
A resident of Anantnag in South Kashmir, Zahid was the conductor of the truck that was en route to Kashmir when a mob attacked it with petrol bombs on October 9. The driver of the truck Showkat Ahmed is also admitted in hospital. Nine people have been arrested for the attack and five of them slapped with the tough Public Safety Act.
An aircraft of the state government flew Zahid’s body last evening from Delhi and it was taken to his native village for last rites. Ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Chief and MP from Anantnag Mehbooba Mufti, state’s Finance Minister Haseeb A Drabu and Law Minister Basharat Bukhari were at the airport here to receive the body. Both factions of separatist Hurriyat Conference and JKLF have called for a shutdown in the Valley. A Kashmiri pandit organisation, Kashmiri Pandit Sangharsh Samiti, Kashmir High Court Bar Association, traders’ bodies and transport union have extended support to the shutdown call.
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