Kashmir Tense Again, Curfew Imposed To Quell Protests31 August 2010
Srinagar: The J-K government on Tuesday extended the curfew to more police stations in Srinagar and south Kashmir in the wake of injuries to nephews of J-K Liberation Front (JKLF) chief Yasin Malik and the death of a 11-year-old boy in south Kashmir on Monday. Protesters, however, defied the curfew in Srinagar's Maisuma area since last evening with women, children and men taking to the streets. They were protesting against the alleged 'unprovoked firing by the police' at the nephews of Malik on Monday, which left five persons injured. People also performed afternoon prayers out in open on the streets as a mark of protest in Srinagar's commercial hub Lal Chowk. Protests were held peacefully and no one resorted to stone pelting in the area. 'We ensured that nobody hurls stones during protest,” said Ashraf-bin-Salam, a senior JKLF activist. One of Malik's nephews, Yasir Ahmad Sheikh, is still in critical condition in a Srinagar hospital. 'Yasir is still battling for the life. He has multiple injuries in the body due to pellets fired from close range. Only improvement is that his blood pressure stabilised a bit in the morning,” said Malik, who described the attack a conspiracy by the state to push the new generation towards picking up guns. Malik, who is a proponent of peaceful ways to resolve the Kashmir issue, along with many trade and religious bodies' heads is putting up outside the Shri Maharaja Hari Singh Hospital, where Sheikh is admitted. Fearing protest against the police firing, the authorities imposed a strict curfew across Srinagar city. All schools, shops, private and government offices remained closed on 81st day of civil unrest in Kashmir on Tuesday. The unrest was triggered after a school boy was killed in police firing on June 11. In south Kashmir, a curfew was imposed in Pulwama and Anantnag districts. A school boy, Irshad Ahmad Parray (11), died due to severe pallet injuries in Monday's police firing on a demonstration in Anantnag. Protesters gathered in old part of Anantnag town, 65 km south of Srinagar, early in the morning and clashed with security forces, which lobbed tear-smoke shells to control the situation. Thereafter, a strict curfew was enforced in the area. Pulwama, 45 south of Srinagar, was also brought under curfew. In the rest of the valley, a separatists-sponsored shutdown call brought the life to a standstill. A demonstration was held in south Kashmir's Kulgam area. The state's opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party, has condemned the use of force on peaceful protesters and the attack on civilians in Maisuma. 'Unprovoked firing in Maisuma and Pulwama yesterday indicates a state of total anarchy in Kashmir,' said PDP president Mehbooba Mufti. Mufti alleged since the government has failed to take action even in most brazen cases of murders like those of three boys in Anantnag in June, 2010, the security forces continued to act against the people with immunity. In north Kashmir's Bandipora area, 45 km north of Srinagar, a soldier was killed in an anti-militancy operation. An encounter broke out last night near Atwatoo forests when the security forced spotted a group of militants. 'The gun battle is on,' said a police spokesman.