Complete shutdown was today observed in Pulwama town of south Kashmir against the alleged harassment of shopkeepers by government forces during clashes yesterday.
Shops and other business establishments remained closed in the town while traffic was off the roads. The educational institutions including colleges, schools also remained closed. A minor stone pelting incident was reported from the town.
Several shopkeepers had on Thursday alleged that they were beaten up by forces and their shops vandalized. The shopkeepers later carried out a protest rally to demand action against the cops who ransacked their shops. “The forces beat up shopkeepers and also damaged goods in the shops”, the shopkeepers told Greater Kashmir.
They said they have decided to observe a complete shutdown on Saturday also against the forces’ action. In the neighbouring Shopian town, shutdown was observed on second consecutive day against the disappearance of a youth from in police custody.
The locals are seeking whereabouts of 24 year old Zubair Turray, a resident of Bona Bazar and also a Tehreek-I-Hurriyat activist. Police say the youth escaped from their custody on May 1, however locals have contested police claims, suspecting foul play.
On second consecutive day, all business establishments including shops and educational institutions remained closed and traffic remained off the roads.
Bashir Ahmad, father of the missing youth, has filed an application in CJM court Shopian pleading for investigation into the disappearance of his son in custody.
At least 20 FIRs stand registered against Zubair and he has been booked seven times under PSA since 2004. “On February 24 he was released after spending several months in jail for seventh PSA but only after some days he was rearrested and taken to Keegam police post. However, on May 1, I was informed by police that he escaped from jail,” Bashir told.—GK