KASHMIR SHUTS IN MOURNING
Undeclared Curfew In Old Srinagar; Clashes Elsewhere
Dastgeer Sahab(RA) Shrine Fire
SHABIR IBN YUSUF
Srinagar, June 26: Life across Kashmir valley came to a grinding halt on Tuesday as people observed a complete shutdown to mourn the gutting of shrine of Peer Dastgeer Sahab (RA) at Khanyar. Undeclared curfew was imposed in old city here to thwart protest demonstrations.
The strike was called by several separatist groups, including both factions of Hurriyat Conference and Grand Mufti of Jammu and Kashmir Mufti Bashir-ud-din, who has also appealed people to assemble at Dastgeer Sahab Shrine on Friday.
Shops and business establishments in Srinagar, Budgam and Ganderbal remained closed and traffic was off the roads. The work in government offices, banks and other institutions was badly affected as employees could not make it to their respective offices in the absence of transport facilities.
Courts in Srinagar and other districts were closed as Kashmir High Court Bar Association, the representative body of lawyers, had also called for one-day strike.
Undeclared curfew was imposed in the jurisdiction of six police stations of Nowhatta, Khanyar, Rainawari, Safakadal, Maharajgunj and Kralkhud. However the authorities said that there was no curfew but Section 144 was in force.
In old Srinagar, police and CRPF were deployed in every nook and corner to thwart any protest demonstration. The police and CRPF laid razor wires and erected barricades at most road junctions. Armored vehicles were also seen at road junctions in old Srinagar.
The residents alleged that they were not allowed by police and CRPF to offer morning prayers. “We were not allowed to offer morning prayers. Police and CRPF men had blocked our road with razor wire early morning,” said Abdul Rashid, a Babademb resident. Muhammad Irshad Rather of Khanyar said that police and CRPF did not allow them to buy milk and bread in the morning. “I tried thrice, but moved back. They (forces) had blocked the road,” he said and added that police and CRPF forced the milkman to close the shop in the morning.
The restrictions were so severe that the doctors and patients who had to reach SMHS Hospital and SKIMS were stopped by police and CRPF. Later they were allowed to move only after the intervention of District Magistrate Srinagar.
Though there were no restrictions in uptown areas of Srinagar, but police and CRPF were deployed in large numbers to thwart any attempt of protest demonstrations.
An official handout said that District Magistrate Srinagar has imposed restrictions under Section 144 on the movement of public and transport in Jurisdiction of 6 police stations in the Srinagar City till further orders.
“The Police Stations are Khanyar, Nowhatta, MR. Gunj, Rainawari, Safakadal and Kralkhud. The step has been taken in view of the law and order situation in Srinagar district and to avoid breach of peace and tranquility as well as damage to life and property. The Senior Superintendent of Police Srinagar has been directed to implement the order in letter and spirit,” the handout said.
Islamabad (Anantnag) town of south Kashmir was also affected due to the strike and clashes were witnessed at some places. The clashes between police and groups of youth took place at Kadipora, Malakhnag and Janglat Mandi.
The strike was also observed in Pulwama, Kulgam and Shopian districts of south Kashmir. The roads wore a deserted look. Shops and business establishments remained closed. Schools and other government offices were also closed.
Life also remained crippled in Baramulla, Kupwara, Sopore, Handwara and Bandipora towns of north Kashmir due to the strike. The traffic in these areas was off the roads and business establishments and government schools were closed.
Police foiled a procession of Muttahida Ulema Ahl-e-Sunnat (MUAS) at Dastageer Sahab Sarai Bala here by sealing all the entry points leading to the shrine and deploying police and CRPF men in strength.
MUAS Chairman Maulana Ghulam Rasool Hami had called for procession after Zuhar prayers outside the shrine.
Lastupdate on : Tue, 26 Jun 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 26 Jun 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 27 Jun 2012 00:00:00 IST
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