Pulwama: Curbs, shutdown cripple life on second day

Srinagar:  Life remained paralyzed in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district, where curfew remained in place for the second consecutive day Friday to thwart anti-India protests over the death of a militant in an alleged gunfight in Budgam district of central Kashmir.
On Wednesday, Army had claimed it killed a Jaish-e-Mohammad militant Tauseef Ahmad Dar, son of Ghulam Hassan, of Pulwama, when their patrol came under fire in Dalwan village of Pakherpora in Budgam district. Tauseef’s killing had triggered violent clashes leading to injuries to at least five people, including a policeman. Fearing widespread protests, authorities had imposed curfew in Pulwama town on Thursday that continued for the second running day Friday, reports and eyewitnesses said.
A contingent of CRPF troopers and policemen were deployed at Pulwama town, Murran Chowk, Prichoo, where violent protests broke out Thursday leaving nine people, including three policemen injured, local residents told Kashmir Reader. Carrying automatic rifles and riot gear, the forces maintained strict vigil and restricted the movement of the civilians.
Besides, the forces had also sealed several road links to of the township with rest of the Valley with barricades and spools of razor wire. Harsh restrictions were also put in place in Dalipora, Malikpora Chatpora and other villages.
However, clashes broke out late Friday evening at the Murran Chowk when the deployments were returning to their camps. The ding-dong battles continued for some time. However, no one was reported to be injured.
Earlier, the locals alleged that the forces prevented them from offering congregational Friday prayers. However, some elderly were allowed to go to mosques.
“The forces imposed a strict curfew today. They didn’t allow anyone to move out of their house in the morning. However, some elderly were allowed to go to mosques for prayers. The youth were confined indoors, though,” said Firdous Ahmed, a local.
Meanwhile, a complete shutdown was observed in Rajpora, Kakpora, Newa, Kangan, Rahmoo and other adjoining areas to mourn Tauseef’s death. All shops, offices and business establishments remained closed, while public transport was also affected due to the spontaneous shutdown.
Meanwhile, a police official said that the situation remained normal in the Pulwama barring minor stone pelting incidents.