Govt foils Islamabad Chalo
Curfew, Restrictions Paralyse Valley; Clashes In Pattan
GOWHAR BHAT/KHALID GUL
Srinagar, July 5: After a day’s reprieve, authorities re-imposed curfew in most parts of the Valley on Monday to thwart the march to Islamabad called by Hurriyat Conference led by Syed Ali Geelani to protest and express solidarity with the families of three youth killed in police firing. Curfew remained imposed in old city here, Islamabad town, Pulwama and Kakpora townships in south Kashmir.
As usual seven police station areas in old city were put under curfew with heavy deployment of police and central paramilitary being made to check protests. CRPF men stopped vehicles at every crossing asking for Identity Cards and curfew passes. Only the vehicles of Sikh devotees, who visited Guduwara Chattipadshahi at Rainawari in connection with Guru Hargobind’s birthday, were allowed to ply.
The restrictions were less severe in uptown localities but most roads, especially those leading to Srinagar-Islamabad highway, were blocked by barricades and razor wires.
Several crossings including at Dalgate, Lal Chowk, Sonwar and Panthachowk by- pass and at a number of points along the highway were blocked by CRPF by stationing mobile bunkers on roads.
No incidents of protests or stone-pelting were reported from any areas of the summer capital during the day. Reports of shutdown amid restrictions were received from central Kashmir’s Budgam district.
Curfew remained enforced in Islamabad town for the sixth consecutive day following the alleged cold blooded murder of three teenagers by police.
Early in the morning additional contingents of police and paramilitary personnel were deployed as all the entry and exit points of the town were sealed. Police had also put concertina wires at crossing points at several places in the town. The CRPF and police were deployed in the lanes and by lanes of the town. However, in Anchidora area—where the three teenagers were killed, no deployment was made. A Hurriyat (G) delegation lead by its senior leader, Muhammad Yusuf Falahi, and acting district president, Sheikh Mohi-ud-din, reached the place and addressed a huge gathering inside Jamia Masjid Anchidora.
Later a massive pro-freedom demonstration was carried out. People from the adjoining Mohallas and villages also joined in. The Hurriyat activists also visited the family of the victims and expressed solidarity with them.
Falahi said, “New Delhi has been orchestrating the genocide of Kashmiris with the blessings of its installed government.”
He said that despite killing the three innocent teenagers by the police in cold blood the government was trying to justify their act. Earlier, police detained the acting Chairman of Peoples League, Mukhtar Ahmad Waza, from his house.
Curfew was imposed in the town following the killing of three teenagers allegedly by the police last Tuesday. Violence had erupted between the police and protesters during the two hour relaxation in curfew in the last two days also. Due to the curfew people are facing acute shortage of essentials.
“The step to re-impose strict curfew was taken to avoid any untoward incident”, a police official said, adding that no one would be allowed to disturb law and order.
Strict restrictions were also put in place in the adjoining areas of Mattan, Bijbehara, Sangam, Dooru and Achabal. Though there were reports of sporadic clashes between the protesters and the police from these areas.
Pulwama: Curfew was re-imposed here after being lifted after five days on Sunday as normal life again came to halt in Pulwama and Kakpora areas of this South Kashmir district. Police laid barricades and concertina wires at various places to thwart any attempt of people to march towards Islamabad. Curfew like restrictions also prevailed in Tral and Pampore areas of this district.
Restrictions were also put in force in the neighbouring districts of Kulgam and Shopian with reports of clashes between the protesters and police.
Even as no call for any shutdown was given by any separatist group, a complete shutdown was observed across North Kashmir districts and towns including Sopur, Varmul, Kupwara, Handwara, Bandipora, Sonawari, and Ganderbal.
However, in the morning, protests broke out at Pattan town in Varmul district as people came out on roads and staged pro-freedom demonstrations. As they marched towards main road police intercepted them near Higher Secondary School by baton charging and firing tear gas shells.
Three civilians were injured in police action. The situation remained tense for the rest of the day.
Curfew-like restrictions prevailed in the Varmul town, where Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had a meeting with members of civil society at Dak Bungalow. Three Bridges—Azadganj Bridge, Cement Bridge, and Transport Yard Bridge— connecting old town with civil line areas were sealed by forces. No civilian movement was allowed in civil line areas.
In Kupwara, curfew like situation prevailed as police and CRPF restricted civilian movement. However, people came out on roads at Trehgam and staged a protest demonstration.
People from several localities poured onto streets at Lokipora and tried to march ahead. However, the procession was stopped near Watergam by forces.
Police said that situation remained peaceful across the valley. While the Islamabad march was foiled by imposing curfew and restrictions, a police spokesman claimed, “The march given by an organization evoked no response.”
He also claimed that “a good number of shops were open and traffic was partially plying in Soura, Zakoora, Lal Bazaar and southern areas of Srinagar. However, there were stray incidents of pelting from Pattan town and Hanjiwera in Varmul. They stone-pelters were chased away. Meanwhile, curfew continued to be in place in Islamabad and Pulwama towns which passed off peacefully.”
Lastupdate on : Mon, 5 Jul 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 5 Jul 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 6 Jul 2010 00:00:00 IST
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