Curfew Like Restrictions Paralyse Life In Kashmir

19 June 2015
The Daily Excelsior
Fayaz Bukhari

Srinagar: Curfew like restrictions were imposed in parts of Srinagar and North Kashmir today to prevent separatist protest march to Sopore against the killings of six men by gunmen over last three weeks. Authorities imposed restrictions in Khanyar, Safakadal, Nowhatta, Rainawari, M R Gunj and Kralkhud and Maisuma areas of Srinagar to prevent protests and violence. The restrictions were also imposed in Sopore, the epicenter of trouble, Baramulla and Palhalan areas of North Kashmir. In these areas police and para-military Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) was deployed in strength and all the main roads were blocked with concertina wires and iron barricades. No vehicular or pedestrian movement was allowed in these areas. However, people with emergencies were allowed to move occasionally. These areas presented deserted look with people staying inside and shops and business establishment were closed. Several separatist leaders were either detained or put under house arrest to prevent them from visiting the Sopore town. Hurriyat Conference chairman, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, was under house arrest since last week, curbs were put on movement of moderate Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and other separatist leaders like Mohammad Ashraf Sehrai, Ayaz Akbar, Shabir Ahmad Shah and Nayeem Khan since yesterday. JKLF chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik was arrested from Chadoora area of Budgam district on Wednesday evening and later shifted to Kothibagh Police Station in Srinagar. Hurriyat Conference faction led by Geelani and Mirwaiz, JKLF and other separatists had announced their plans to lead a joint delegation to Sopore to express solidarity with the families of those killed by gunmen since May 22 this year. The situation over all remained peaceful across Kashmir valley with minor incidents of stone pelting at Palhalan, Kreeri, Sangrama, Delina and Batpora Sopore. Police fired tear-smoke at places to disperse the stone pelters. Militants shot dead six persons, including separatist activists and former militants in Sopore over the past three weeks, leading to fear among the residents of the North Kashmir town. Police has announced a reward of Rs 10 lakh each for information leading to arrest of two militants, Abdul Qayoom Najar and Imtiyaz Ahmad Kandoo, who they believe are behind the attacks. The security forces operation to hunt the militants responsible for the series of killings in North Kashmir's Sopore area is on for last few days and so far several suspects have been detained for questioning. However, there are no traces of militants responsible for the killing of six men. In the meantime, in South Kashmir's Anantnag town, Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) flags appeared in a separatist rally this afternoon. The town observed shutdown on the 21st death anniversary of Qazi Nisar Ahmad, a reputed Islamic scholar who was also one of the founding members of Muslim United Front (MUF) in late '80s. The founder of socio-religious organization Ummat-e-Islami and Mirwaiz South Kashmir was killed by unidentified gunmen on this day in 1994 at Dialgam village in the district. Shops, business establishments and schools remained closed while the attendance in Government offices was thin with skeletal transport movement on the roads. Ahmad's heir, Qazi Yasir led a pro-freedom rally from Jamia Masjid Hanfia towards Lal Chowk in the town to pay tributes to his father. The ISIS flags also appeared in the rally.