J&K: Despite curfew, fresh protests in Valley following funeral of Zahid Ahmad Bhat

Defying the imposed curfew, fresh protests erupted in south Kashmir’s Botengo village after the funeral of Zahid Ahmad Bhat, a truck driver who was killed in Udhampur. J-K government has imposed strict curfew in several parts of south Kashmir and Srinagar to prevent protests over Zahid’s murder.

Zahid, who succumbed to injuries on Sunday after he was severely burnt in a petrol bomb attack on his truck on October 9, was laid to rest at Botengo village this morning. Hundreds of villagers participated in Zahid’s funeral where those present raised pro-Pakistan, anti-India and anti-BJP and PDP slogans. A Pakistani flag was also waved by protesters. Soon after the funeral was over, violent clashes erupted at Botengo.

The police fired dozens of tear smoke and pepper gas shells to disperse the stone throwing protesters. The clashes in the village, however, continued despite rain and curfew. As the Valley is observing a shutdown called by the separatists, Jammu and Kashmir government has imposed curfew in several parts of south Kashmir including Botengo, Anantnag and Pulwama.

A heavy deployment of police, paramilitary forces and army has been placed along the Srinagar-Jammu national highway. As a precautionary measure, the police have stopped the movement of trucks, especially those from outside the Valley, plying on the highway. Curfew has also been imposed in old Srinagar city while police have erected barricades on roads leading to Srinagar and South Kashmir.

All the shops and business establishments across the valley are closed while public and private transport is off the roads.

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