Sheikh Imran Bashir
Srinagar: Authorities in Indian Kashmir Wednesday imposed curfew in Srinagar city, and other towns to thwart a march to United Nations local office, proposed by separatist alliance Hurriyat (Freedom) Conference.
Separatists observe October 27 as a “black day” and senior separatists had called on residents to hold protests and march to a UN office in Srinagar, the summer capital of Indian Kashmir.
A United Nations Military Observer Group in Indian and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) office is based in Srinagar. The office was set up in 1949 to monitor the ceasefire line, now know as line of control (LoC), dividing Kashmir into two parts.
A top police officer told Agence India Press that curfew as a precautionary measure has been imposed in whole summer capital and some towns of Pulwama, Baramulla and Kupwara.
The moderate Hurriyat Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq has given a call for March to United Nations office in Srinagar and urged people to accompany Hurriyat leaders, who will submit memorandum seeking UN intervention in Kashmir.
Mirwaiz’s call was also supported by the hardline Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani.
The call for March to UNMOGIP has been given to protest the arrival of Indian troops in the region way back on Oct. 27, 1947.
Every year a complete shutdown is observed on Oct. 27 as a protest.
Groups of police and paramilitary forces (CRPF) personnel in full-riot gear have been deployed along the streets and roads of Srinagar to enforce restrictions.
Troopers have laid barricades and concertina on roads and intersections to restrict civilian movement.
Several separatist leaders have been placed under house arrest to disallow them from talking out protest marches.
Meanwhile, eight persons were injured when stone-pelting protestors clashed with security forces in Bandipora district where curfew has been imposed to foil UN march. Defying curfew restrictions, a group of protestors took to the roads on this morning in Bandipora district, police said.
Police and other security forces used batons to chase the protestors away but the youth starting pelting stones at them, they said.
Security forces lobbed tear smoke shells and fired Pump Action Guns to bring the situation under control, they said, adding five civilians and three policemen were injured in the clashes.
They also said that a large number of protestors had blocked the Srinagar-Baramulla National Highway in Palhalan area of Baramulla district on late Tuesday night.
Police fired tear smoke shells and warning shots to disperse the protestors, they said.
The region has been witnessing massive anti-India protests over the past more four months. At least 111 people most of them teenagers and young men were killed in police and paramilitary action on public protests.
Life in the region remained affected either due to strike calls from separatists or curfew imposed by authorities since June 11.
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