Srinagar: Shops and business establishments remained shut here today in support of a strike call given by separatist groups to commemorate the 26th anniversary of the Gawkadal massacre, in which 52 civilians were killed in alleged firing by security forces on a procession in 1990.
Lal Chowk and its adjoining areas of Gawkadal and Maisuma observed shutdown on the call of separatist groups, including both factions of the Hurriyat Conference.
The killings in Gawkadal on this day in 1990 took place two days after the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from the Kashmir Valley. In Gawkadal, the protesters were demonstrating against the alleged highhandedness of security forces in another part of the city a day earlier.
The strike call, however, did not affect public transport.
Hardline Hurriyat Conference chairman Syed Ali Geelani has appealed to international human rights organisations to ensure an impartial investigation into all such massacres in Jammu and Kashmir.
Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah tweeted about the Gawkadal incident, saying “the next few weeks are dotted with anniversaries of black days/events that should shame & sadden us”.
Congress leader Salman Soz said, “January 1990 has got to be one of the worst months in Kashmir’s history. Massive exodus of Pandits and horrific killings in Gawkadal.”
Meanwhile, a shutdown was observed in many areas of south Kashmir following the killing of a youth in firing by security forces.
The Shutdown was observed in many areas of Pulwama, Shopian, Anantnag and Kulgam districts of south Kashmir after Parvaiz Ahmad was killed when security forces opened fire on a group of youths who were protesting against an encounter in Naina Batapora village of Pulwama yesterday, the officials said.