Curfew cages Old City,strike hits life elsewhere

Curfew cages Old City,strike hits life elsewhere

Srinagar: There was no let up in curfew in old city parts for the third consecutive day Saturday even as normal life remained affected in other parts of the Kashmir Valley against the killing of a youth at Nawakadal here on Wednesday evening.
Bashir Ahmad Bhat, 24, was killed while two others, including a woman, suffered injuries on Wednesday when CRPF troopers opened fire upon a group of anti-poll protesters in Nawa Kadal locality of old city here after the polling for the Srinagar Lok Sabha seat ended.
The killing triggered violent protests prompting the officials to impose undeclared curfew across the old city besides announcing a probe.
Like past two days, hundreds of paramilitary troopers and policemen, carrying assault rifles and riot gear, enforced strict curfew in five police stations of the old city including Maharaj Gunj, Khanyar, Rainawari, Nowhatta and Safa Kadal, officials and eyewitnesses said.
A spokesman of the district administration said the forces were deployed in strength in other areas of the city to maintain law and order.
Meanwhile, people in some other parts of the Kashmir Valley observed a spontaneous shutdown to protest against the killing.
Though there was no call for strike by any pro-freedom group, shops and business establishments in the Lal Chowk city centre and civil lines here as well as in other district headquarters were shut while educational institutions and government offices witnessed thin attendance, reports and eyewitnesses said.
Public transport was mostly off the roads, while private cars, cabs and auto-rickshaws were seen plying normally, the officials said.
Meanwhile, locals alleged that paramilitary CRPF went on rampage at Mallabagh and adjoining areas on the outskirts of Srinagar in the evening.
“They thrashed passers-by and smashed windows panes of residential houses as also street lights erected by locals without any rhyme or reason,” a local resident told Kashmir Reader over the phone on Saturday evening.
Residents of Tawheedabad A B, C colonies as well as Shadab Colony and Shahi Hamdan colony Zakoora also alleged that paramilitary forces, camping in Hafiz Bagh Dagerpora, also went on rampage in their areas.
“I have no such reports,” Kishore Prasad, Public Relation Officer of CRPF told Kashmir Reader when contacted.
Regarding the overall situation, he said barring a stone-pelting incident at Narbal area in outskirts of Srinagar, it was largely peaceful.