Sheikh Imran Bashir
Srinagar: Curfew was re-imposed in some areas in Kashmir valley, while a complete strike is being observed across the region on Sunday and prohibitory orders in rest of the valley to maintain law and order.
Curfew and restrictions remain in force in most parts of Srinagar and some other parts of the Valley. A simultaneous protest strike is also being observed in demand for the release of political prisoners and those civilian protesters arrested during the last one month.
The Hurriyat Conference headed by Syed Ali Shah Geelani has called for a Valley-wide shutdown Sunday to protest alleged human rights violations by the security forces in Kashmir.
The shutdown is part of the continuing ‘Quit Kashmir’ programme bY All Parties Hurriyat Conference (G).
A senior Police Officer told Agence India Press that, restrictions have been imposed in Srinagar’s Old City areas and uptown Maisuma, Batmaloo and Humhama localities to prevent violence.
Police and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) contingents were moved out early morning to enforce restrictions.
Traffic intersections were blocked with coils of razor-fitted wire in the Old City and in Maisuma and Batmaloo areas. Both vehicular and pedestrian movement has been disallowed by security forces.
Life returned to normal in the valley yesterday for several hours after 21 days of strike, people came out in large numbers to buy essential items fearing another spell of shutdowns and restrictions, but the relief was short-lived as protesters again clashed with police.
Authorities brought Sopore town under curfew while prohibitory orders have been imposed in 12 police station areas in Srinagar as a precautionary measure, including Nowhatta, Khanyar, Rainawari, Safakadal, Soura, Batmaloo, Maisuma, Kralkhud and Sonawar, police said.
Heavy deployment has been made in the rest of the valley including Baramulla town, which witnessed violent clashes in the wake of a controversy over a teenager’s death.
The body of the youth, Faizan Rafiq Buhroo of Jalal Sahab old town has not been fished out from the river so far.
Soon after the incident, thousands of people took to streets and held demonstration. They threw stones at the police and CRPF, who fired several rounds in the air, burst smoke shells and resorted to cane charge. The boy’s body could not be recovered from the river.
He was class 7th student of Guru Nanak School and his father is blacksmith by profession.
Eyewitnesses told Agence India Press that in the evening SOG men chased the stone-pelting youth via Azadgunj Bridge in a private truck.
However, denied the allegation by locals regarding the drowning of youth in SOG chase.
“Neither there was SOG deployment in the area nor the police personnel crossed the bridge in the private truck,” had police said.
Meanwhile, General Secretary of Kashmir High Court Bar Association Ghulam Nabi Shaheen has been arrested under Public Safety Act (PSA).
Shaheen, who had led a protest demonstration here in support of the demand for release of Bar president Mian Abdul Qayoom yesterday, was arrested from Lethpora, 25km from here, last night, the official sources said.
They said Shaheen was on way to his Tral residence when police intercepted him and took him into custody. He was immediately booked under PSA and sent to a jail in Rajouri district of Jammu.
Qayoom was arrested under PSA on July seven when Army was called in and curfew imposed following clashes between protesters and law enforcing agencies.
The Bar had threatened to launch street protests if Qayoom was not released unconditionally.
The Bar is supporting the separatists and extending support to strike calls.
Averting a major tragedy, a powerful IED was defused on on Sunday morning, Harithrath near Pattan, 27 kms from here, Srinagar-Muzaffarabad national highway, officials said.
The 20 Kgs IED, kept inside a refined oil tin, was planted by militants on the roadside at Harithrath.
A top Army Officer told Agence India Press that, the device was detected by a Road Opening Party of 29 Rashtriya Riffles (RR) and later defused by the bomb disposal squad of J&K Police Baramulla.
Troops of 34 Rashtriya Rifles also detected a powerful IED, planted on the main road, at village Manznoo, 65 kms from here in Ananatnag district, the spokesman said, adding the IED was later detonated by bomb disposal squad at an open field.
Four army personnel were killed and an equal number injured in separate accidents in Jammu and Kashmir today, police said.
Two soldiers were killed when their vehicle skidded off the road and fell into a gorge in Kupwara district in North Kashmir.
Four were injured in the accident which happened near ICN Tower Tangdhar, 145-km from here, police said.
A soldier drowned when he slipped into a swollen river at Bani in Jammu region’s Kathua district, they said.
Another soldier, travelling to Jammu from Delhi, fell down from a train and died instantly.