Curfew Foils Hurriyat's Protest March18 October 2010
The Hindustan Times
Srinagar: Strict security measures were put in place and a curfew imposed in major towns in Kashmir on Monday to stop Hurriyat Conference leaders and their supporters to organise a protest march towards north Kashmir's Palhalan town. Anticipating trouble in the wake of the separatists call, the authorities declared a curfew in nine police stations in Srinagar, including major areas of downtown Srinagar. A curfew was also enforced strictly in south Kashmir's sensitive Pampore and north Kashmir's restive Baramulla, Kupwara, Sopore and Handwara areas. The call to march towards Palhalan, which is allegedly facing security restrictions and curfew-like situation since September 12, was given by hardline Hurriyat Conference chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani. The town is 34 km north of Srinagar.'Situation across the valley remained peaceful and under control during the day,' said a police spokesman. Hundreds of police personnel in riot-gear were fanned across Kashmir valley to keep protesters at bay. Concertina wires were laid in downtown Srinagar to stop any protest procession. The curfew disrupted normal life in several parts of Kashmir valley. Majority of shops, schools, offices and banks remained closed. Traffic, however, plied without hindrance in areas not facing any curfew. The Hurriyat had also given a shutdown call on Monday. Parents were also seen accompanying their children, even in downtown Srinagar, to schools for examination. Most of the private and government schools are conducting examination this month. 'We were allowed to drop children to school who had to sit in exams,' said Ilyas Ahmad, a resident of Naid Kadal in downtown Srinagar. Ahmad's two sons study in uptown Srinagar's Burnhall School. One person was, however, injured in protests in south Kashmir's Samboora area, Pampore. The police used force to disperse a protest procession in the area.