Kashmir Shuts Against Sopore Tragedy1 March 2010
Srinagar: The normal life in Srinagar and other parts of Valley was paralysed by the strike coupled with security restrictions on Monday. The strike call was given by Hurriyat (G) to protest against the destruction of over three dozen houses allegedly by troopers in Sopore. All shops, business establishments, government offices and banks remained closed across Valley. The passenger traffic was also off the roads. However, some private vehicles were plying on the deserted roads. The police and CRPF personnel were deployed in strength in old city areas to prevent people from taking to roads and staging anti-India demonstrations. The cops had placed barricades and concertina wires on the roads to restrict the movement of people. The authorities had imposed tough security restrictions at Nowhatta, Khanyar, Safa Kadal, Maharaj-gunj, Gojwara, Rajouri Kada, Eid-Gah and other adjoining areas in the old city. The youth took to roads at Batamaloo and staged anti-India demonstrations. Chanting pro-freedom, pro-Islamic and anti-India slogans, the youth clashed with police and CRPF personnel, who were deployed in strength in the area. They also pelted stones on the cops, who retaliated by resorting to baton charge. Asif Sultan working with an internet news portal, Kashmir Ethenic was beaten by the troopers during the clashes. Police and CRPF men scuttled attempts made by youth in some areas of old city to stage demonstrations. A senior police official said the day passed off peacefully without any untoward incident taking place anywhere. “We had imposed Section 144 across to maintain law and order,” he said. He refuted that undeclared curfew was imposed in any part of the Valley. “There were restrictions put in place but curfew was not imposed,” he said. However, residents of many areas in old city alleged that they were not allowed to venture out of their homes by the troopers. “We were not allowed to move out of our houses since morning,” said a resident of Nowhatta. He said the police and CRPF men were strictly enforcing curfew. Complete shutdown in North, South The Sopore, Baramulla and other areas in North Kashmir observed complete shutdown. All modes of transport were off the roads while the shops and business establishments remained closed. The authorities had deployed hundreds of police and CRPF men in Baramulla and Sopore town to thwart any attempt by people to stage demonstrations. Meanwhile, Sopore Bar Association president, Mohammad Maqbool Mir said they will file an FIR against the troopers for damaging more than three dozen houses. He said the trooper’s highhandedness is intolerable. He said a Bar team will visit the spot on Tuesday to take stock of the situation. The South Kashmir also observed complete shutdown. Reports from Islamabad said youth fought pitched battle with police at Malakhnag, Janglat Mandi and other areas. Meanwhile, Kulgam remained tense for the third consecutive day over the alleged police action on the peaceful Eid-e-milad-un-Nabi procession. The residents demanded transfer of DySP Kulgam, who allegedly abused and ordered police action on the devotees on Saturday. The strike call was given by Hurriyat conference (G) to protest against the destruction of 32 structures by army men during a gunfight at Chinkipora, Sopore. A spokesman of Hurriyat (G) thanked people for making the strike call a success.