In 98 days, Shopian shuts for 30 days

On Sunday, the militancy hotbed Shopian district has completed one month of shutdowns since the beginning of this year.
The latest wave of continuous shutdown started on April 1 after killing of 12 militants and four civilians in two separate encounters in the volatile district.

Of the total of 98 days of the current year, Shopian has observed shutdown for 30 days (a complete month) to protest the civilian killings and alleged high handedness by Army and other forces.
The residents have accused army of committing grave human rights violations in this south Kashmir’s apple rich town, which has emerged as a militancy hotbed.

Some of local top faces of new-age militancy active in this district are Saddam Paddar and Zeenat-ul-Islam.
The first shutdown of this year in the district was observed on January 25 when two militants and a 17-year old boy Shakir Mir were killed at Chaigund Adoo.

The township observed continuous shutdown on January 25, 26 and 27 against the killings.
On January 27, three civilians Javed Ahmad, Suhail Lone and Rayees Ahmad were killed by Army at Gonawpora.
After the killing of the trio, shutdown was extended against the killings till February 3.

From February 3 to March 3, the situation in the district remained relatively calm and normal life was back on the track barring few stray incidents of protests.
However, on March 4 (Sunday evening), people in the district again took to streets after Army killed four civilians and two militants at Pahnoo village, which is some five kilometres from Deputy Commissioner’s Office.
The spontaneous shutdown was observed in the district from March 4 to 13 against the killings. During this period massive protests and clashes between angry youth and force personnel were reported from different parts of the district.
The educational institutions also remained completely closed.
While the normalcy had started limping back, the fragile peace again derailed on April 1, when two encounters took places in two villages, Sugan-Dragad and Kachdoora, leaving 12 militants and four civilians dead.
Since the killings, Shopian has been observing shutdown. Today was the eight continuous day of shutdown in the district and there appear no signs of any immediate normalcy.
According to police, situation is more challenging in the inner villages of Shopian.
Whenever any army vehicle appears on the roads, youth come out and pelt stones while in many villages pro-freedom songs reverberate from the mosque loudspeakers
Six army camps have been setup in the district in last two years.