DAY-4: CURFEW CONTINUES

KHALID GUL

Pulwama, Dec 31: Curfew continued Monday for the fourth consecutive day in this South Kashmir district where forces allegedly resorted to firing on civilians at two separate places on Friday injuring nine persons.
Reports said that police and paramilitary CRPF personnel, armed with sophisticated weapons and riot gears, were deployed in Pulwama town and the adjoining areas to enforce a strict curfew. The forces guarded the deserted streets, lanes and by-lanes to foil any attempt of the people to come out of their houses and stage protest demonstrations, reports said.
All the entry and exit points connecting the town with the rest of the valley continue to be sealed as the forces have erected barricades and spools of concertina wires. At some places, armored vehicles were placed across the roads to restrict the movement of people.
Eyewitnesses said that late in the evening when the deployment was being reduced, protesters clashed with forces at several places in the town as well as the peripheral areas.
“As the forces started moving to their camps, the protesters booed and pelted stones on them, which was retaliated by tear gas shelling,” they said.
The residents alleged that even patients are not being allowed to be taken to hospitals and people are running out of essential supplies.
“This is the fourth day of curfew and we are running short of essentials. The forces are not even letting us to buy milk,” said Aftab Ahmad, a local resident.
People also accused the police of harassment and launching a crackdown against the youth allegedly involved in protests. “The police has been raiding houses and detaining the youth,” said the residents.
Meanwhile, officials said that curfew is likely to be lifted on Tuesday if situation is peaceful.
“The decision on lifting restrictions will be taken after assessing the situation,” a senior official told Greater Kashmir.
He said that ‘if people remain peaceful and don’t resort to violence,’ curfew would be lifted from Tuesday.
The government had imposed indefinite curfew in Pulwama on Friday after nine civilians were injured in forces firing at two different places. The firing triggered violent protests in the district.

Lastupdate on : Mon, 31 Dec 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 31 Dec 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 1 Jan 2013 00:00:00 IST




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