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Valley Faces 28 shutdowns in 70 days..

On Thursday it was 28th time since January when Shopian district observed shutdown against the killings of militants and the civilians.

The first shutdown was observed on January 25 when two militants and a civilian were killed in Chaigund and the ongoing strike is being held to mourn the killings of 12 militants and 5 civilians during twin gunfights between the militants and government forces.

The streets look deserted but no sooner do military vehicles appear on the road, youth come out of their houses and pelt stones.  The district simmers with anger. A beeline of mourners visits the residences of slain militants and civilians to pay condolences and express solidarity with the families.

This has affected the horticulture activity at a time when fruit season is about to start.

“We are finding it difficult to spray our orchards. But when our children are dying everyday, how can we just forget it and move on,” said Abdul Qayoom, a local resident.

Six major army camps have come up in the district in the last two years turning it into a military garrison.

Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) has called for Shopian Chalo thrice and on all these occasions the authorities foiled the march by enforcing strict curbs and imposed section 144 across southern districts.

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