Shopian firing: 6 LeT terrorists killed; Kashmir protests: 10 developments

JKLF Chief and Senior Hurriyat Leader Yasin Malik detained by police in Srinagar | PTI Photo
Shopian firing: The situation in South Kashmir's Shopian district was tense after the police on Monday recovered two more bodies, raising the death toll in last night's firing incident on a vehicle to six. The J&K police recovered the body of another militant, identified as Ashiq Hussain Bhat of Lashkar-e-Taiba, seven km from Pahnoo where the Army had fired upon two vehicles. The Army claimed that the slain youths were militants and their associates. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has put a hold the investigation into the death of three civilians killed in the Shopian firing case in Jammu and Kashmir in January.

Here are top 10 developments

1. All those killed in Shopian firing linked to militancy, says Army

A defence spokesperson said soldiers deployed at the mobile vehicle check post (MVCP) in Trenz-Pinjoora road near Pahnoo village were fired upon by occupants in two speeding vehicles.

At around 8 pm, two speeding vehicles were seen approaching the checkpoint from the direction of Trenz village, he said.

The vehicles continued to move despite being signalled to stop by the troops. The soldiers flashed search lights towards the approaching vehicles, but the occupants opened heavy firing from both the vehicles, the spokesperson added.

"Own troops, in self defence, responded to the same with fire. In the ensuing gun fight, one terrorist firing from one of the vehicles was hit and he fell off the vehicle. The vehicle veered off the road towards the nala (stream) and the second vehicle sped off," he said.

Police detained Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front chairman Yasin Malik after he tried to stage a protest against the alleged killing of civilians in Shopian firing.

Malik, along with his supporters, reached Budshah bridge here and tried to march towards Lal Chowk.

Mayhem in #Shopian! #Army shoots dead three youth Suhail Wagay,Shahid Khan,Shahnawaz Wagay all civilians travelling in a car.JRL& the people of Kashmir strongly condemn this brutality of the forces &to express deep resentment & anger will observe a complete #strike tomorrow

— Mirwaiz Umar Farooq (@MirwaizKashmir) March 4, 2018
3. Kashmir on boil

Hundreds of people, including some gun-toting militants, on Monday attended the funeral of a slain Lashkar-e-Taiba commander in south Kashmir despite authorities restricting people's movement and internet curfew clamped across the Kashmir Valley

Dozens of clashes involving stone-pelting erupted in Shopian as people came out on the streets to protest alleged civilian deaths in the south Kashmir district on Sunday evening.

3. Schools shut again, Board exams postponed, internet connectivity suspended

Schools and educational institutes, which were to open today after two-month-long winter break, were closed as a precautionary measure in the Valley.

Fearing street protests, the authorities imposed restrictions in parts of Srinagar city and south Kashmir region. Internet connectivity in south Kashmir was suspended while its speed was curbed at other places in the Valley.

The State Public Service Commission ordered the cancellation of Monday's civil services exams in the state. All university and school board exams scheduled on Monday were postponed.

5. Protests in Anantnag and Pulwama districts

Protests also broke out in neighbouring Anantnag and Pulwama districts, north Kashmir's Bandipora district and Badgam in central Kashmir where youths clashed with the security forces.

Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said she was "deeply distressed by more deaths of civilians caught in the crossfire in Shopian" and expressed her "heartfelt condolences to the deceased's families".

Separatist leaders Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik called for a valley-wide protest shutdown against the killings.

Deeply distressed by more deaths of civilians caught in the crossfire in Shopian. My heartfelt condolences to the deceased’s families.

— Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) March 5, 2018
7. Congress demands probe into Shopian firing incident

The Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) demanded a probe into the firing incident. Condemning the incident, the party said the people of Shopian believed that the four people were innocent and they were killed in the garb of a police encounter.

The party spokesperson said the killing of innocents could not be justified and added that there had to be a probe into the incident to ascertain the truth.

The spokesperson said doubts in the minds of people needed to be cleared and the government was responsible for the bloodshed.

The spokesperson alleged that the killings were a fallout of misrule and misgovernance by the PDP-BJP which was also responsible for deteriorating situation in the state.

8. Mehbooba should take legal action: Omar on Shopian firing
Opposition National Conference today demanded a probe into the killings in Jammu and Kashmir's Shopian district, saying these cannot be justified by labelling the deceased as overground workers of militant groups.

"The Shopian incident is yet another stark reminder of the grave-and-rapidly deteriorating situation in the Valley," NC working president and former chief minister Omar Abdullah said.

Omar said the varying accounts from Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and the security forces on last night's incident are unfortunate and further perpetuate the sense of distrust, disenchantment and alienation.

"The circumstances and details should be probed and made public by the state government," he added.

9. Major Aditya Kumar is an army officer, not a criminal - SC
The investigation into the death of three civilians killed in the Shopian firing case in Jammu and Kashmir in January has been put on hold by the Supreme Court today. "After all, it is a case of an Army officer, not an ordinary criminal," Chief Justice observed.

10. Major Aditya Kumar not named as accused in FIR

Jammu and Kashmir government underlined that Major Aditya Kumar had not been named as an accused in the First Information Report registered by the police but as the army officer leading the police convoy. A bench chaired by Chief Justice Dipak Misra ordered the state government to put the investigation on hold till April 24 when it would deliver its ruling in this case.