Curfew re-imposed in India-controlled Kashmir to prevent protest

19:03, July 05, 2010      

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Curfew was re-imposed Monday in Muslim dominated areas of India- controlled Kashmir including Srinagar to prevent a separatist rally to Anantnag town, where three civilians were killed in police action last week, officials and locals said.

The call "Anantnag Chalo" was given by region's hardline separatist alliance Hurriyat Conference head by jailed leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani to protest the killing of three youth in Anantnag district, around 62 km south of Srinagar.

"We have imposed restrictions to maintain law and order," said a government official posted in Srinagar.

The severe restrictions were re-imposed following a break on Sunday. The authorities Sunday morning lifted restrictions from almost all the areas except Anantnag town where tension is still palpable.

"The relaxation on Sunday witnessed a heavy rush in markets of Srinagar and elsewhere. People swarmed on roads to purchase essentials. Kashmir came back to life after nine days of protests and curfew. But today again life has come to a halt," said Bilal Ahmad, a local resident of Srinagar.

Thousands of policemen and India's paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel in riot gear have been deployed across all the major towns including Srinagar city, the summer capital of India-controlled Kashmir to enforce restrictions in wake of the separatist call.

These men have laid barricades and concertina on the roads and streets to restrict movement of people. Similar restrictions have been laid on the roads leading to Anantnag town.

Officials fear relaxation of restrictions would bolster anti- Indian demonstrations. Anti-India sentiment runs deep in the psyche of majority of Kashmiris.

Last month witnessed massive protest demonstrations in the region following the killing of 11 youth in separate police and paramilitary shooting on protesters.

The volatile situation in the region mounted pressure on Omar Abdullah government, which imposed curfew like restrictions to break the cycle of violence and prevent further civilian deaths.

Businesses, shops, banks, financial institutions schools and government offices remained closed in Srinagar city and other districts in wake of severe restrictions. Traffic is also off the roads.

Source: Xinhua


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