SRINAGAR, April 4: A one-day strike to mourn and protest the death of Ghulam Hassan Khan on Friday brought occupied Kashmir to a standstill, witnesses said.

Ghulam Hassan Khan, alias Saif-ul-Islam, was the chief of operations and the second-in-command of Hizbul Mujahideen.

The Hizb and the APHC called the strike.

All shops, schools and businesses were closed, while there was little traffic on the streets of Srinagar and other towns.

Most government and semi-government offices were also closed.

Quoting police sources the daily Greater Kashmir said Islam and other militants were planning to disrupt the visit.

Meanwhile two civilians were killed in overnight shooting incidents.

A mentally ill man was shot dead by security forces when he approached their camp in the northern Kupwara district late on Thursday and ignored warnings to raise his arms, residents said.

Another civilian was shot dead by unidentified gunmen in southern Anantnag district late on Thursday, police said.

ARRESTS: Meanwhile, Indian authorities have arrested two militants of a dominant Kashmir group, police said on Friday.

Feroz Sheikh and Mehboob Jaan, arrested by the Delhi Police on Thursday evening, belonged to Hizbul Mujahideen, police said.

“We received some information from the police in Jammu and Kashmir, after which we tracked them down,” Maxwell Pereira, Joint Commissioner of Delhi Police said.

Pereira said Shiekh was the right hand man of Abdul Majid Dar, Hizb’s former chief commander of operations who was shot dead by unidentified gunmen in occupied Kashmir on March 22.

In the western state of Gujarat, police detained five men who they said were trained as saboteurs by Pakistan’s military espionage agency, ISI, and that they had been sent back to India by Islamabad to target civilians.

“They have confessed during interrogation that they were trained to conduct a series of blasts across the state,” Joint Police Commissioner P.P. Pande said in the Gujarat city of Ahmedabad.—AFP


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