Restrictions continue across Kashmir

Curfew and restrictions continued in Srinagar and other places in the Kashmir in response to the strike call that was given by the joint resistance leadership to protest the killing of HM militant commander, Sabzar Ahmad Bhat, and his associate in an encounter at Tral on Saturday.

Authorities on Monday said that the restrictions were put in place “ to maintain law and order”, adding that the curfew was imposed in at least seven police station areas of Khanyar, Rainawari, Nowhatta, M.R. Gunj, Safa Kadal, Kralkhud and Maisuma. Restrictions were also imposed in the Anantnag district under section 144 of CrPC to prevent the assembly of more than four people at a particular place.

Similar preventive restrictions were also imposed in Shopian, Kulgam, Pulwama, Badgam, Ganderbal, Bandipora, Kupwara and Baramulla districts. Officials said that curbs in these areas continued for the second day as a pre-emptive measure to prevent spread of violent protests which took place on Saturday immediately after militant commander, Sabzar Bhat, was killed.

The Kashmir Valley has been on the edge since Saturday when Hizbul commander, Sabzar Bhat, was killed in a gunfight with the government forces in Saimoh village of Pulwama district along with his associate, Faizan Ahmad. 

Both belonged to Rathsuna village of Tral tehsil where they were buried in the village’s martyr’s graveyard as thousands attended their burial. Authorities had imposed curfew and restrictions on Sunday to prevent protests in the aftermath of Hizbul commander’s death. A civilian was also killed allegedly in cross firing between militants and security forces during the encounter while several youth were injured in the subsequent protests that were triggered subsequently.

Separatists asked people to observe a protest shutdown on Monday and appealed them to March to Tral town on Tuesday. Senior separatist leaders including Syed Ali Geelani and Mirwaiz Umer Farooq have been placed under house arrest while JKLF chief, Muhammad Yasin Malik was arrested and shifted to the central jail on Sunday.

All educational institutions have been shut by the authorities in addition to postponement of exams scheduled on Monday by the university. Train services also remained suspended on Monday for the second consecutive day. Police said except for six stone pelting incidents on Sunday those were handled with maximum restraint by the security forces, the valley remained peaceful. On Sunday though there were few stone-pelting incidents in some areas of the valley yesterday, the situation remained under control.

A police spokesman said yesterday that there were six incidents of stone pelting in Pulwama, Kulgam, Shopian and Sopore, but the situation across the valley remained peaceful and under control. He said police and security forces used maximum restraint while dealing with the situation at these places and miscreants were chased away.

Meanwhile, normal life remained affected in the rest of the valley for the second day due to a two-day strike called by separatists to protest killing of the two militants and use of “brute force” against protesters.  The authorities have suspended mobile internet services in the valley, while the outgoing call facility on prepaid numbers has also been snapped as a precautionary measure.

Kashmir University has postponed all examinations scheduled to be held on Monday and Tuesday. A spokesman of the university said fresh dates for the deferred examinations shall be notified later. Islamic University of Science and Technology (IUST), Awantipora, on Sunday also postponed the examination scheduled for Monday.

The university also suspended the class work on Monday in view of the prevailing situation. Schools and colleges have also been closed on Monday in Srinagar and for two days in Pulwama.

Reports from Pulwama said that eight people were injured in forces action after protestors engaged in stone pelting with CRPF men and the police at Tahab. The injured were however, treated at the local hospitals.

Meanwhile, protests were also held at Gabrpora and Arigam area of Pulwama.


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