April 2016 News

Kashmir Remains Tense Over Killings

14 April 2016
The Tribune (Chandigarh)
Ehsan Fazili and Majid Jahangir

Srinagar: Kashmir continued to remain on edge on Thursday as curfew, shutdown and internet blockade paralysed life across the region for the second consecutive day. The Valley had been simmering over the killing of four civilians, including a budding cricketer, in firing by security forces which took place after protests over the alleged molestation of a girl in Handwara by an Army man on Tuesday afternoon. The Army dismissed the allegation as a rumour to malign the force and released a purported video in which she is seen saying that she was not molested by the Army man. As the Valley continues to be on boil, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, who returned to Srinagar on Thursday, held a high-level meeting with top police officials. Mehbooba is monitoring the overall situation with senior police and security officers. 'She is personally monitoring the situation,' said official sources, adding that the Chef Minister had a detailed report from K Rajendra, Director General of Police, who visited Handwara today. Mehbooba had directed the police to ensure that no harm was caused to the innocent during the law and order situation. This was Mehbooba's first visit to the winter capital after the Handwara incident on Tuesday. Restrictions were imposed by the authorities in Handwara and parts of Srinagar. In the summer capital, curfew-like restrictions continued on the second day in old city areas to ensure that there was no protest. The government blocked mobile internet and broadband services in the region since Wednesday night to restrict rumour mongering, an official said. Meanwhile, curfew continued to remain in force in north Kashmir's Handwara, Langate and Kupwara areas, which had seen violent protests since Tuesday afternoon, where three persons were killed by security forces. The roads leading to Handwara were blocked and the media was not allowed to enter the district. There were reports of minor clashes in various parts of Handwara. In other parts of the Valley, a complete shutdown was observed following a call by separatists, which threw life out of gear. Public transport was off the roads in the Valley. Separatist groups called for a protest demonstration on Friday and the authorities decided to continue restrictions in sensitive areas. All top separatist leaders were put under house detention. Three civilians were killed in Handwara on Tuesday when security forces opened fire during protests against the alleged molestation of a girl by an Army man. The next day, a youth was killed in Kupwara during clashes. During the last three days, nearly 150 policemen and CRPF jawans had been injured.