Separatist leaders have called for a complete shutdown in Kashmir to be observed on Wednesday, against the killing of journalist Shujaat Bukhari and civilians gunned down by security forces in the past few days.
The Joint Resistance Leadership, an amalgamation of separatist groups, said in a statement on Tuesday that there had been a sudden spike in civilian killings since the eve of Eid. It also demanded an international probe into Bukhari's killing.
"Joint Resistance Leadership has called for a complete strike on Wednesday against the continued civilian killings in the valley, which has witnessed a sudden spike since the eve of Eid. Three young boys have been brutally gunned down by the Indian forces while the fourth is struggling for life at SKIMS," the statement said.
He said the strike will also be observed against the brutal killing of Bukhari, who was shot dead along with his two personal guards outside his office on 14 June by unknown gunmen. "JRL demands an international probe into this gruesome murder," a spokesperson said in the statement.
He said cordon and search operations had returned with a vengeance to the villages as people were being severely beaten and harassed and used as human shields.
The strike comes amid speculations that separatist group Hurriyat Conference, among others, could be responsible for the assassination of 'Rising Kashmir' editor Shujaat Bukhari.
The announcement came in the wake of reports claiming that BJP president Amit Shah has called for an urgent meeting of all Jammu and Kashmir BJP ministers and some top leaders in New Delhi on Tuesday. "All the BJP ministers have been called to New Delhi for a meeting," a senior BJP leader of Jammu and Kashmir BJP told PTI. Shah has called the meeting to discuss the political situation in the state — including the impact of suspension of operations during Ramzan and its resumption. The report further added that Shah might also discuss the future strategy with ally PDP and the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Suspending operations along the border area has miffed the PDP leadership and the rift is showing once again as the Centre wants to resume anti-terror operations in the state after Ramzan. While PDP thinks BJP leaders should make headway with the separatists and initiate dialogue with them, the BJP-led central government says that the separatists lost an opportunity as they did not take a cue from civil society, sources have told NDTV.
The Centre had decided to suspend anti-terror operations during the holy month "in view of providing respite to the people".
With inputs from PTI
Updated Date: Jun 19, 2018 12:52:05 IST