Protest Continues; Life Halts in Srinagar

A day after wide protest and violence hit Sri Nagar on finding body of a youth missing for last six days, the life in the city came to halt on Thursday with public transport, banks, shops and educational institutions remaining closed.

Authorities imposed strict restrictions in uptown Maisuma, the locality where trouble had erupted and later spread to other parts of the city after the body of Asrar Ahmad Dar was found. However, stray incidences of protesters clashing with police continued.

Dar, belonging to Maisuma, was untraceable since he left his home on his bicycle last week.

To check protests, police used batons and fired tear gas shell to dispel mob of protesters, three of whom were arrested in Ram Bagh locality when they were caught attacking private transport vehicles on the road leading to the airport.

Afadul Mujtaba, Senior Superintendent of Police (Srinagar), said that investigators had made headway in the Dar murder investigation.

“Vital clues have surfaced and we are confident of cracking the murder mystery soon,” the Srinagar district police chief told reporters.

Mystery shrouds the identity of the attackers but people alleged police and other security agencies picked him up and killed him in custody.

Police handed over the body to his relatives after an autopsy on Wednesday afternoon. As the body was being taken for burial, the youth accompanying the funeral procession turned violent and threw stones at passing vehicles.

They smashed window panes of government buildings and tore down hoardings, besides pelting stones at some shops and restaurants on the way to the graveyard at Dalgate.

Police had a difficult time in controlling the crowd during the funeral.

Wednesday’s violence followed similar agitations over the rape and murder of two women in a south Kashmir village in Shopian region in May and the killing of four protesters in alleged police firing in north Kashmir’s Baramulla and Sopore towns last month.

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