Restrictions In Jammu And Kashmir To Prevent Separatist March
19 June 2009
: Strict restrictions were Friday put in place in several places in the Kashmir valley to foil a march called by separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani. Police and paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) have been deployed in strength in the north Kashmir towns of Sopore and Baramulla where the separatists called for a march Friday. As a preventive measure, the district magistrate of Baramulla imposed Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code in Sopore and Baramulla towns under which an assembly of five or more people is deemed ‘unlawful’. Restrictions have also been imposed on the Srinagar-Baramulla highway ahead of Pattan town to foil the gathering of any separatist marchers. In the summer capital Srinagar, markets and public transport remained closed Friday though private transport plied on the city roads. There were no restrictions in the uptown city areas of Srinagar although security forces were deployed in strength in the old city areas to prevent the gathering of any separatist marchers. Geelani, who heads the hardline faction of the Hurriyat Conference, continues to remain under arrest even as his supporters have been holding protests at different places for the last two weeks for his release. Separatist protests engulfed the Valley after the rape and rape and murder of two women Neelofar Jan, 22, and Asiya Jan, 17, in south Kashmir’s Shopian town whose bodies were found in a stream on May 30. The state government ordered a judicial probe headed by a retired high court judge and also constituted a special investigating team. The relatives and protesters have been alleging that the two were raped and then murdered by the security forces.