SRINAGAR: Security forces were today deployed in strength in parts of Srinagar in the wake of fresh violence following death of a teenager, even as normal life remained affected elsewhere in the Valley for the 121st consecutive day due to separatist–sponsored strike.
"Adequate deployment of security forces has been made in parts of Srinagar, but there is no curfew in the city (here) or anywhere in Kashmir," a police official said. He said security forces have been deployed in strength in some areas of the city to maintain law and order in the wake of yesterday's violence following death of a 16-year-old boy Qaiser Sofi due to alleged poisoning.
Sofi was reported missing on October 25 and found in an unconscious state in Shalimar area of the city six days later and hospitalised. However, local residents of the area alleged that the teen was force-fed some poisonous substance. Police have said an investigation is underway into the case registered under section 309 Ranbir Penal Code (attempt to suicide) at Nishat Police Station.
Although there was very less movement of people and vehicular traffic in the areas in the old city, the civil lines areas of the summer capital, including the areas around the commercial hub of Lal Chowk, witnessed a fair amount of traffic as private cars and auto-rickshaws were seen plying, the official said. He said some shops were open in these areas along with the areas in the outskirts of the city, while many vendors set-up their stalls in the weekly flea market in the TRC Chowk-Batamaloo axis passing through Lal Chowk.
However, most of the shops, fuel stations and other business establishments were shut elsewhere in the Valley but are expected to open in the evening as the separatists have announced a 15-hour relaxation in the strike from 4 PM onwards. The ongoing unrest in Kashmir, triggered by killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani in an encounter with security forces in south Kashmir on July 8, has completed four months.
The separatists, who are spearheading the ongoing agitation in the Valley, have been issuing weekly protest programmes. As many as 85 people, including two cops, have been killed and several thousand others injured in the ongoing unrest in the Valley. Around 5000 security forces personnel have also been injured in the clashes.