Srinagar: Normal life in Kashmir was today disrupted due to a strike called by separatists to protest the killing of two youth in Army firing in Shopian district even as authorities imposed restriction in parts of Srinagar and shut down Internet services in four districts.
Shops and business establishments remained closed in most parts of Kashmir while public transport was off roads due to the strike, officials said.
They said, however, private cars were plying on most of the roads in the civil lines area of the city.
Two youth were killed and several others were injured when Army troops opened fire on a stone-pelting mob at Ganovpora in Shopian district yesterday.
While local residents alleged that the Army opened fire on the slightest provocation, a defence spokesman said several jawans were injured in stone-pelting and vehicles were damaged extensively, prompting soldiers to open fire in self-defence.
Meanwhile, authorities have imposed restrictions on the movement of people in Safakadal, Khanyar, Nowhatta, Rainawari and M R Gunj police station areas of the city as a preventive measure to maintain law and order, the officials said.
They said parts of police station Maisuma and Kralkhud have also been placed under restrictions.
Mobile Internet services have been shut down in Pulwama, Anantnag, Kulgam and Shopian districts of south Kashmir while the speed has been reduced to 128 kbps in rest of the valley.
Two civilians were killed when Army personnel fired at a stone-pelting mob in Shopian district of Jammu and Kashmir, prompting Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti to order an inquiry into the incident.
The crowd hurled stones on a security force convoy passing through Ganovpora village in Shopian district following which the Army men fired a few rounds to chase it away, police officials said, adding several people were injured in the firing.
A defence spokesman, however, said the troops opened fire when a mob tried to lynch a junior commissioned officer and snatch his service weapon.
Two of the injured, identified as Javaid Ahmad Bhat and Suhail Javid Lone, died, the police officials said.
Another youth was rushed to a hospital here in a critical condition for specialised treatment, they said.
The situation in Ganovpora and adjoining areas is tense following the killings of the youths, the officials said.
He said Mehbooba spoke to Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who assured the chief minister that she would impress upon the field formations that mechanisms put in place were strictly adhered to prevent such incidents.
Sitharaman told the chief minister that she would seek a detailed report in connection with the incident, he added.
The defence spokesman said, “An Army administration convoy was passing through Ganovpora when it came under unprovoked and intense stone-pelting by a group of 100-120 stone-pelters. Within no time, their number swelled to 200-250 persons.”
“The crowd surrounded an isolated portion of the convoy consisting of four vehicles,” he said, noting that the stone- pelters caused extensive damage to these vehicles and tried to set them on fire.
“A junior commissioned officer accompanying the convoy got hit on the head and fell unconscious. He was seriously injured. The mob tried to lynch the individual and snatch his weapon.”
He said, “The violent crowd further closed in towards the vehicles and attempted to set them on fire.”
The spokesman said considering the extreme gravity of the situation, the Army was constrained to open fire in self-defence to prevent the lynching of the JCO and burning of government vehicle by the mob.
“A total of seven Army men suffered injuries while extensive damage was caused to eleven vehicles. In the process, two civilians succumbed to the bullet injuries,” he said.
The police have registered a case against the Army unit concerned in connection with the incident.