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Government foils separatists march in Valley by imposing tough curbs

Curfew, restrictions remain in force for 42nd day; No Friday prayers offered; Ex-MLA’s house bombed by militants.

Published: 19th August 2016 09:10 PM  |   Last Updated: 19th August 2016 09:29 PM   |  A+A-

PTI-JK-Curfew-43-day

A security jawan stands guard inside a sand bunker during 42nd day of curfew and strike in Srinagar on Friday. (PTI)

  • Curfew, restrictions remain in force for 42nd day
  • No Friday prayers offered in many mosques
  • Ex-MLA’s house bombed by militants

SRINAGAR: The Jammu and Kashmir government on Friday foiled separatists march by imposing tough curbs and detaining top separatist leaders while curfew, restrictions and shutdown remained in force for 42nd consecutive day today.

A police official said tough curfew and restrictions were enforced across the Valley including Srinagar, South Kashmir and Central Kashmir’s Budgam district today.

He said the police and paramilitary personnel had placed barricades and concertina wires on the roads to prevent movement of people and foil separatists march to Aripathan village of central Kashmir’s Budgam district.

The cops did not allow people in Nowhatta area of downtown Srinagar to venture out and offer Friday congregation prayers in historic Jamia Masjid.  The Friday prayers were also not allowed in many mosques across the Valley due to imposition of tough curfew.

Police foiled attempts by people at some parts of the Valley to march towards Aripathan.

The separatist leaders Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik, who are spearheading the ongoing agitation in the Valley, had called for march to Aripathan village, where four civilians were killed in police and CRPF firing on Tuesday.

Police arrested hardline separatist leaders Syed Ali Geelani and moderate separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq after they attempted to defy house arrest restrictions and march towards Aripathan.

Both Geelani and Mirwaiz were detained outside their residences and lodged in police stations. They were released in the evening and again placed under house arrest at their respective residences.

Many other separatist leaders were also detained when they tried to march towards Aripathan, Budgam.

Youth at many places of the Valley defied curfew and restrictions after Friday prayers and staged anti-India demonstrations. The protestors chanted pro-freedom and anti-India slogans and clashed with the police and paramilitary personnel. The cops fired tear smoke shells and resorted to heavy baton charge to disperse the protestors. Many persons were injured in the clashes.

A police spokesman said 21 incidents of stone pelting were reported after Friday prayers from Shopian, Kulgam, Pulwama in South Kashmir and Sopore, Baramulla, Handwara, Bandipora in North Kashmir.

The curfew and restrictions imposed by government and shutdown-sponsored by separatists remained in force for 42nd consecutive day today.

At least 67 people have been killed and thousands others injured in ongoing cycle of violence and unrest in the Valley.  The unrest was triggered by killing of 21-year-old Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani on July 8 and the Valley has been on boil since then.

The shops, business establishments and petrol pumps remained closed while public transport was off the roads. All educational institutions have also remained closed since last 42 days.

The internet mobile services has remained suspended since last 42 days while only BSNL-post paid mobile services are presently working.

Meanwhile, a police spokesman said unknown militants hurled a grenade towards the residential house of ex-MLA Shopian, Sheikh Mohammad Rafi at village Kachdoora, Shopian in South Kashmir.

He said the grenade exploded without causing any damage.

“Police have registered a case and taken up investigation,” added the spokesman.

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