Separatist leaders, MLA detained as shutdown hits Valley

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Srinagar, June 25 (IANS) Life across the Kashmir Valley was derailed on Monday by a separatist-sponsored shutdown even as the authorities detained senior separatist leaders to prevent their participation in protests.

Shops, public transport, other business establishments and educational institutions remained closed in Srinagar city and other district headquarters of the Valley.

Rail services between Baramulla and Bannihal towns were suspended as a precaution. Internet services were also suspended in south Kashmir areas.

Heavy contingents of police and paramilitary forces were deployed in old city and uptown areas of Srinagar without imposing any restrictions.

The protest was called by the Joint Residence Leadership (JRL), a separatist grouping headed by Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik against civilian killings in Kashmir.

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Police took Yasin Malik into preventive custody while Geelani and Mirwaiz Farooq were placed under house arrest.

Independent MLA Engineer Rashid was also taken into preventive custody after he started a protest march from Magarmal Bagh area of Srinagar towards the civil Secretariat on the same issue.

Nearly a dozen of his supporters were also detained by police who intercepted the march.

Meanwhile, a youth sustained a gunshot injury in his thigh on the outskirts of Sopore town during clashes between the security forces and civilian protesters.

The youth was shifted to a local hospital from where he was referred to Srinagar for specialized treatment. Attending doctors have described the condition of the youth as stable and out of danger.

A civilian, Yawar Ahmad Dar, was killed on Sunday in clashes with security forces during an anti-militancy operation in Kulgam district while Shahid Hajam, who was injured in Srigufwara area of Anantnag last week, succumbed to his injuries in a hospital.

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