Restrictions in Srinagar to prevent protests (Lead, correcting second para)


This has also derailed any chances of normalcy returning to the area, considered to be a hotbed for separatist sentiments.

The cops had placed coils of concertina wires and barricades on the roads to restrict movement of people.

Amid conflicting versions from the Army, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and the victim families on Monday, there were widespread protests, a clampdown by security forces and a shutdown.

However, the villagers refuted the army claim and said the four slain men were civilians.

According to Indian military spokesperson Colonel Rajesh Kalia, an army vehicle was sacked upon by militants at village Pohan in Shopian district, about 53 km south of Srinagar city, the summer capital of Indian occupied Kashmir (IoK), Sunday night.

The Army said in a statement that militants fired at the mobile check post from two vehicles. "In retaliatory firing, one terrorist identified as Shahid Ahmad Dar was killed".

The two militants were identified as Aamir Malik and Ashiq Hussain.

A relative of Suhail said the three were innocent and had nothing to do with militancy.

The whole of South Kashmir, which includes Pulwama, Shopian, Kulgam and Anantnag districts, has emerged as one of the most volatile areas after 2016 year-long protests. Investigation suggesta that Bhat was the part of terror squad which had attacked the Army vehicle at Pahnoo village in Shopian, police said.

"The second vehicle that had fired at the Army was found on Monday morning near Pinzura, Shopian where one more individual was found dead". Lone alleged that his son may have been dragged out of the auto and killed.

They were stopped and taken into preventive custody, the officials said.

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But across the region, most people believed all were killed in cold blood. But this is the reason. "He had called his family minutes before the shootout saying he was reaching home with the two boys".

"After half an hour, we heard about his killing along with two youth".

"Lies and propaganda are being spread by the Army", said the Mirwaiz.

Ruling People's Democratic Party MLA from Shopian, Mohammad Yousuf Bhat, condemned the killing of "civilians" and demanded a judicial probe into it.

On the slain militant, the army's identification differed from that of the police.

"When your heart bleeds and you are emotionally amputated, no condemnation is enough. The statements of politicians to condemn these killings are nothing but drama", he said.

The various business communities of the valley also reacted to the killings.

The mobile internet services have been shut across South Kashmir while high-speed internet has been stopped across the valley. The strike has thrown life across Kashmir into a limbo. The state government chose to close all schools and colleges across Kasmir till Wednesday in order to avoid a law and order situation in the Valley.

The body of Gowhar Ahmad Lone, 24, of Molu Chitragam, Shopian, was found around 250 meters away from the site at Pahnoo.

Separatist Yasin Malik was taken into custody when he tried to take out a procession.

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