Srinagar: Authorities relaxed a curfew in most parts of Kashmir on Saturday as street clashes between troops and protesters ebbed in the disputed region, officials said.
An eight-day curfew was also lifted in Sopore, one of the worst hit towns in the recent street violence in the Kashmir. In some towns, it was relaxed for two hours, allowing residents to buy food and other supplies after days of protests.
However, the curfew remained in downtown Srinagar and restrictions were extended to the northern towns of Kupwara and Trehgam following clashes between troops and protesters Friday evening, a top police officer told Agence India Press.
Government troops continued to patrol the streets.
Police and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) fired aerial shots and lobbed teargas shells to disperse protesters during two-hour curfew relaxation in old Anantnag town Saturday morning.
Barring uptown areas of Srinagar, curfew restrictions continued to be in place in Baramulla, Mattan, Bijbehara, Dooru, Kokernag, Achhabal in Anantnag, Qaimoh in Kulgam and Pulwama districts.
Curfew imposed in Anantnag town on June 29 following killing of three persons was relaxed for two hours from 7.00 am this morning in old town areas. However, the relaxation was withdrawn as people took to the streets in Lal Chowk and Sherpora areas and pelted stones on law enforcing agencies, police said.
As the protests intensified, police lobbed tear gas shells and fired in the air to disperse the protestors, police said, adding no one was injured.
Authorities imposed curfew in Trehgam and Kupwara towns in Kupwara district today which witnessed protests yesterday in which three persons were injured.
In Srinagar, authorities lifted curfew from civil lines area but the restrictions continued in the four police station areas of Nowhatta, Khanyar, Maharajgun and Safakadal areas in view of the tense situation in the wake of protests by residents last night, police said.
Restrictions were also in place in Maisuma area.
Meanwhile, global rights group Amnesty International in a statement Friday asked authorities to avoid excessive use of force while dealing with demonstrators in Kashmir and urged an investigation into the recent killings.