Curfew imposed in India-controlled Kashmir to stop further protests

08:16, July 01, 2010      

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Curfew has been imposed in all the Muslim majority areas of India- controlled Kashmir Wednesday in a bid to stop further violent protest, officials said.

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 impose restrictions for the second consecutive day.

The step has been taken following the killing of three youth on Tuesday evening in Anantnag town, 62 km south of Srinagar city.

The killings in Anantnag town triggered fresh protests with protesters setting ablaze some government vehicles, a police post, a petrol pump and some private properties.

"Strict restrictions are in place in the town and outskirts. The government is trying to impose restrictions to break the cycle of violence and prevent the civilian deaths," said a government official.

The volatile situation has mounted pressure on the local Omar Abdullah government, who Tuesday asked people to respect curfew and counsel children not to indulge in stone pelting.

"Wherever curfew has been imposed, curfew will be enforced," Chief Minister Omar Abdullah warned in a press conference.

Since Friday eight civilians have been killed in police and paramilitary shooting. In the past three weeks 11 civilians have fallen prey to bullets in separate police and paramilitary action on protesters.

Authorities have jammed mobile phone services in Baramulla district and blocked text messages (SMS services) across the region. Sources said the step has been taken to stop flow of information and rumor mongering.

Indian army has also been kept on a standby to deal with the situation, officials said.

Police in the region have arrested dozens of separatist leaders from both moderate and hardline factions of Hurriyat Conference to curtail their influence on people.

The hardliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani has been booked under Public Safety Act (PSA).

Authorities blame separatists for fuelling these protests.

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

Source: Xinhua


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