Curfew-like restrictions in Srinagar to prevent separatist rally
Srinagar: Strict security restrictions have been imposed in this Jammu and Kashmir summer capital to prevent a separatist march scheduled later Monday.
Curfew-like restrictions for the fourth day were enforced by the authorities in old city areas to quell violence and prevent the proposed separatist march to the office of the United Nations Military Observers` Group in India and Pakistan (Unmogip), located in uptown Sonawar area of the city.
The march had been called by Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, chairman of the moderate Hurriyat group who continued to remain under house arrest in his Nigeen residence on the outskirts of the city.
To thwart the march, police late Sunday arrested many separatist leaders and activists, including Muhammad Abdullah Tari, acting chairman of the Democratic Freedom Party headed by senior separatist leader Shabir Shah.
Shah was arrested here last week along with another separatist leader Nayeem Khan.
Road blocks and coils of razor-fitted concertina wire have been used by the security forces to obstruct all pedestrian and vehicular movement in the old city.
"I could not get the morning bread today (Monday) as the area is completely closed with security men disallowing civilian movement," said Ghulam Rasool, a bank employee living in the uptown Sonawar area of the city.
Even in city centre Lal Chowk, where restrictions are not as strict as in the old city areas, there is very little pedestrian and vehicular movement.
All banks, markets, public transport and other businesses remained closed in the city and attendance in government offices was very thin because of non-availability of public transport.
Tension had started in the old city`s Rajouri Kadal area last Sunday when a schoolboy was hit on the head and killed by a tear smoke shell.
The death of another youth in the Nishat area of the city Friday heightened the tensions in the valley as relatives and locals said the youth had been shot by some paramilitary troopers without any provocation.
The state government has ordered a time-bound probe into the youth`s killing. The Kashmir divisional commissioner has been ordered to submit a report on it by Friday.
"We have asked everybody who can help in the investigations to come forward and reveal the facts so that the guilty are brought to justice," said Naseem Lankar, Kashmir divisional commissioner, who is heading the probe.
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