Sheikh Imran Bashir
Srinagar: Authorities re-imposed curfew-like restrictions in some areas of Srinagar on Sunday against the shutdown call given by, All parties Hurriyat Conference (Geelani).
Earlier on Saturday, curfew was re-imposed in Maisuma area of Srinagar and three other districts Anantnag, Pulwama, and Kakpora after clashes between protesters and security forces.
Now 24-hour long curfews break, restrictions were imposed again in the Old City and uptown Maisuma and Batamalloo in Srinagar.
Authorities moved heavy police and paramilitary reinforcements into the downtown to enforce the restrictions early morning.
A top officer in police told Agence India Press that, there isn’t any curfew in a strict sense; we just have imposed Section 144 of CrPc to maintain law and order. The rest of the valley is peaceful and we expect it to remain placid throughout the day.
Road junctions were blocked with barricades and wire coils. Restrictions were also imposed in the two towns in South Kashmir, Pulwama and Kakpora to maintain law and order.
According to police, curfew was relaxed on Sunday in Sopore town, north Kashmir till 11 a.m. to enable people to buy essential commodities.
But when the curfew was relaxed, mobs indulged in stone-pelting in the market, they said.
The authorities have placed the APHC (M) Chairman, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and senior Hurriyet leader, Agha Syed Hassan Al-Moosvi under house arrest. Mirwaiz had led a massive protest rally in the city, yesterday.
Meanwhile, life in Srinagar and other towns were paralysed again.
Shops were shut and vehicles remained off the roads.
Authorities had relaxed curfew in the entire Kashmir Valley on Friday evening to enable people to join the special prayers on the Muslim festival of Shab-e-Meraj (ascension of the Prophet to heaven).
Continuing with its ‘quit Kashmir movement’ the Hurriyat (G) on Saturday announced a new program.
In a statement, party spokesman said a meeting was held under the conglomerate’s acting chairman, Ghulam Nabi Sumji. The meeting among others was participated by senior leaders Masarat Alam and Peer Saifullah. After the meeting the party gave a fresh calendar of protests. The program has been support by Dukhtaran-e-Millat.
The statement said there will be Hartal on Sunday to express solidarity with the youth and teenagers killed by police and CRPF. “On Monday, July 12 there will be civil curfew to express solidarity with the Kashmiri detainees lodged in various jails. On July 13, people should march to Mazar-e-Shauhda. On 14th and 15 July, peaceful protests should be held in respective localities. On July 16th, people should wear white clothes and stage protests after Friday prayers at the respective district headquarters. People of Srinagar should march to Batamaloo to express solidarity with the three persons including a woman killed in CRPF firing.
In another development, editors and the management of all the vernacular and English newspapers in Srinagar Saturday decided to suspend their publications against alleged harassment by the authorities.
Editors of local newspapers said they would not resume publications till the government assured them such an attitude would be changed in the future.
Meanwhile in New Delhi, union New and Renewable Energy Minister Farooq Abdullah met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Home Minister P. Chidambaram and sought help for his son Omar Abdullah to tide over the crisis in Jammu and Kashmir.
Official sources told Agence India Press that the former chief minister requested assistance so that the younger Abdullah could control the volatile situation.
Farooq Abdullah later left for Srinagar, where Omar Abdullah has called an all-party meeting Monday.