Srinagar remains under tight curfew

A day ahead of the first anniversary of revocation of Article 370, Srinagar on Tuesday remained under tight curfew while there were strict lockdown restrictions in other parts of the valley.

The curfew in Srinagar on August 4 and 5 was announced last evening by administration as a precautionary measure against any possible unrest on Wednesday, the first anniversary of the scrapping of Articles 370 and 35A by the Centre.

The move on August 5 last year had paved the way for the reorganization of the state of Jammu and Kashmir into the Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh.

“A series of inputs have been received suggesting that separatist and Pakistan-sponsored groups are planning to observe August 5 as Black Day and violent action or protests are not ruled out,” DC Srinagar Shahid Iqbal Choudhary, said in an order Monday evening.

All the shops and other business establishments across the valley remained closed. The transport was off the roads and attendance in government offices was very thin.

Since Tuesday morning heavy contingents of police and paramilitary forces were deployed in the city. The roads were blocked by barricades and razor wire. Police vehicles patrolled in Srinagar after dark on Monday and again on Tuesday morning, with officers using megaphones to order residents to remain indoors.

In old Srinagar, the junctions and interjections were blocked with razor wire and armoured vehicles. Hundreds of security forces personnel could be seen patrolling streets of Srinagar on first of the two-day curfew today. The people associated with health facilities and other essential services were allowed to move only after their identity cards were thoroughly checked. The people who moved to hospitals were also facilitated.

Police sources said that security personnel were deployed at 4 am today for imposition of curfew. They said city has been divided into sectors and each sector is headed by a senior police officer.

To avoid protests or trouble, several political leaders were again either put under house arrest or were directed not to venture out of their homes in Srinagar.

To monitor situation in volatile areas in Srinagar and other parts, police used drones. In other parts of valley, strict lockdown restrictions were imposed to stop movement of people.

Reports reaching here from north, south and central Kashmir said that security forces had erected barricades and blocked the roads with razor wire to stop movement of people. “The people associated with emergency services were allowed to move,” they said.

Several vehicles and shopkeepers, they said, were fined for violating the lockdown restrictions.

Police here said that day passed of peacefully. “No untoward incident was reported from any part of valley,” police said.