SRINAGAR: Complete shutdown was observed in Pulwama and Shopian districts in southern Kashmir against killing of two armed anti-India rebels in Vehil village of Shopian district on Thursday.
Two Hizbul Mujahideen commanders – Naseer Ahmad Pandit and Wasim Ahmad Malla – were killed in the brief gunfight early morning.
Hundreds of civilians staged protest in Karimabad village of Pulwama and Palpora village of Shopian, where the slain rebels resided, after the news about their killing spread.
Pulwama observed shutdown for the second consecutive day today as the region remained shut yesterday as well against killing of another rebel – Bilal Ahmad Bhat – in an encounter the previous night.
Shops, business units and schools remained shut on the day and public transport was off the roads. Thousands of youth, on bikes and cars, rushed toward Karimabad and Palpora villages to join the funeral processions of slain rebels.
Reports said that a police van was set ablaze by angry protesters in Karimabad village, the native village of Naseer Pandit and Bilal Ahmad Bhat.
Meanwhile, Hizbul Mujahideen chief, Syed Salah-ud-din, paid rich tributes to Bilal Ahmad Bhat. In an emailed statement to a local news agency, he said that the militants sacrificed their lives for the freedom struggle of Kashmir and the people should respect these sacrifices. (Inputs by KNS)