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Sit-ins, protests amid separatist shutdown in Kashmir

Srinagar, July 15 (Calcutta Tube) People came out in large numbers to stage sit-ins and protests at many places in this Jammu amd Kasmir summer capital Srinagar Thursday on the second day of a separatist shutdown even as restrictions were removed throughout the Valley.

People came out in Nowhatta, Rajouri Kadal, Naid Kadal, Safa Kadal, Bohri Kadal and Khanyar areas of the city early Thursday and staged sit-ins and protests in response to the call given by the separatist Hurriyat group headed by Syed Ali Geelani.

Similar protests were witnessed in Habba Kadal, Batmaloo, Bemina, Chanapora, Barzalla, Kani Kadal, Rambagh areas in the city.

Groups of youth challenged private transport vehicles that plied in the city, forcing them to withdraw from the roads.

The separatists had called for a complete Valley-wide shutdown.

Markets, banks, public and private transport, educational institutions and other business establishments remained closed in Srinagar city and other major towns of the Kashmir Valley.

Groups of youth also clashed with the security forces in Chattabal, Bemina, Habba Kadal and Barzulla areas of the city.

Security forces used batons and tear smoke shells to disperse the protesters.

Similar clashes were also reported from south Kashmir’s Pampore town in which six people suffered minor injuries.

Lawyers took out a protest march in Srinagar against the arrest of Kashmir Bar Association president Mian Qayoom, who has been detained by the authorities under the Public Safety Act (PSA) for allegedly inciting the youth to violence.

‘The overall law and order situation was tense, but under control throughout the Valley and no major untoward incident occurred anywhere,’ a police officer said.

People during the sit-ins also organized free roadside kitchens those served ‘tehri’ (yellow rice prepared with tamarind and edible oil) to the participants of the day’s protests.

At least 15 civilians were killed in the valley in firing by security forces since June 11 and the government has decided to hold an independent enquiry to establish the circumstances those led to the unfortunate deaths of the civilians.

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