Afzal Guru hanging: Kashmir under curfew for second day
Srinagar: The Kashmir Valley continued to remain under curfew on Sunday, a day after the hanging of 2001 Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru at Tihar Jail in Delhi.
The restrictions on the movement of people in the Valley were tightened this morning as there were many violations of the curfew yesterday, official sources said.
Afzal Guru, hailing from Sopore area of north Kashmir, was hanged for eight minutes on Saturday in front of eight people, including doctor, magistrate and a Muslim cleric.
District magistrate Srinagar has made it clear that there would be no restrictions on the movement of medical staff and those connected with other essential services, whose identity cards should be treated as curfew passes by security forces.
For the second day on Sunday, Internet connectivity by various service providers remained suspended although broadband facility by BSNL remained operational in parts of Srinagar city and some other places outside the summer capital.
There has been no official word about suspension of Internet connectivity, but subscribers using mobile phones and dongle appliances to access the Internet are presently unable to get through in the Valley.
News channels were also not being aired by cable TV operators. Newspapers also failed to hit stands this morning due to curfew.
At least 40 people were injured in the day-long clashes between security forces and violent protestors on Saturday, even as authorities clamped curfew on the entire valley in the wake of Afzal Guru`s hanging in Delhi.
Defying curfew restrictions, violent mobs had indulged in stone throwing at police and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel in Baramulla, Srinagar and south Kashmir`s Anantnag districts on Saturday.
A senior police official said the injured included 23 policemen who were controlling violent mobs during the day.
Three people have been admitted with serious injuries to the super specialty Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences, Soura (SKIMS), in Srinagar city.
Doctors at the hospital said the condition of the three injured people was stable but they were not out of danger.
One of the injured has been identified as Firdaush Ahmed Bohru, a resident of Doabgah village near Sopore town, the ancestral village of Afzal Guru.
The second injured person has been identified as Bilal Ahmed of old Baramulla town, while the third person is Riyaz Ahmed Wani of Burza Hama village in Srinagar district.
Yesterday, an irate mob set afire a newly-built government rest house in the Rafiabad area of Baramulla district. Mobs also took to the roads in the Qazigund area on Srinagar-Jammu National Highway, smashing windowpanes of passing vehicles.
All the local cable operators were instructed by the authorities to suspend their operations in Srinagar city on Saturday morning. The Internet connectivity also remained suspended in most parts of the Valley, although none of the service providers confirmed the suspension of the services.
Chief Minister Omar Abdullah arrived here from Jammu on Saturday morning along with junior state Minister for Home Sajad Kichloo and Director General of Police Ashok Prasad. Omar addressed a hurriedly convened press conference in the city.
He said Union Home Minister Susilkumar Shinde had called him on Friday evening to inform him about the decision to hang Afzal Guru on Saturday.
Omar said the Home Minister asked him to take steps to maintain law and order in the Valley and assured him of the central government`s support in this regard.
Omar also said that unlike Maqbool Bhat, whose black warrant was signed by the state government in 1984, Guru`s death warrant was not signed by the state government as there was no case of terrorism registered against him in the state.
The Chief Minister said police and CRPF personnel were deployed across the Kashmir Valley to enforce the curfew, but maintained that the Army was not called in to assist the civil administration.
Omar said that he had many times conveyed to the central government his apprehension over the fallout of Afzal Guru`s hanging on the situation in Kashmir.
The Kashmir University postponed all its examinations scheduled here on Saturday without specifying the next dates for them.
The situation in the Valley remains tense. There has been no official word about the relaxation in the curfew.
The 43-year-old Guru was hanged to death at 8 am outside his cell in Delhi`s Tihar Jail and buried quietly soon after for his role in plotting the audacious December 13, 2001, attack in which 10 people were killed when five armed Pakistani terrorists stormed into the Parliament complex when 100 MPs were inside. Also present inside Parliament were then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, and his Cabinet ministers.
(With Agency inputs)
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