SRINAGAR: The Jammu and Kashmir police on Friday foiled separatists’ march by imposing tough curbs and detaining top separatist leaders on Friday. A police official said the police and paramilitary personnel had placed barricades on the roads to prevent movement of people and foil march by separatists to Aripathan of central Kashmir’s Budgam district.
Meanwhile, ignoring India’s offer to hold talks on cross-border terrorism, Pakistan on Friday again invited Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar to Islamabad by the end of August to discuss the Kashmir dispute “as per UN Security Council Resolutions”.
Friday prayers were not held in historic Jamia Masjid and many mosques across the Valley due to curbs. Separatist leaders Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik had called for march to Aripathan, where four civilians were killed in firing on Tuesday. Police arrested Geelani and Farooq after they were attempted to defy house arrest restrictions and march towards Aripathan.
Youth defied curfew and restrictions at many places of the Valley after Friday prayers. A police spokesman said 21 incidents of stone pelting were reported. The curfew and restrictions imposed by government and shutdown sponsored by separatists remained in force for 42nd consecutive day on Friday.
Army appeals for peace
Army’s Northern Command chief Lt Gen D S Hooda on Friday appealed separatists and all other players in Kashmir to help restore peace and normalcy in Kashmir, where 67 people have been killed and thousands others injured in ongoing unrest triggered by the killing of Hizbul militant Burhan Wani. “I appeal everyone, the security forces, the separatists, the government and the student leaders, to find a way forward from this,” Hooda said.
On the killing of Burhan, the Northern command chief said, “The troops had no information about presence of Burhan in the house.” Lt Gen Hooda regretted the killing of 30-year-old lecturer Shabir Ahmad Monga during a raid by Armymen on Wednesday night.