Curfew relaxed in Valley, stone pelting in Pulwama

Srinagar: Curfew was relaxed for a few hours for the third consecutive day on Thursday in most parts of the Valley which remained largely peaceful during the period barring incidents of stone pelting in Pulwama town.

Curfew was relaxed in almost all parts of the Valley in a phased manner for the third day in a row today and the law and order situation by and large remained peaceful, a police spokesman said.

However, protesters hurled stones at the security forces in Pulwama, prompting authorities to reimpose curfew in the south Kashmir town.

As soon as curfew was relaxed, markets in Srinagar and other major towns opened. While public transport remained off the roads, private vehicles were seen plying in large numbers, causing traffic jams at some busy intersections in the city.

Authorities relaxed curfew restrictions in Kakapora, Lethpora, Tral and Awantipora towns in south Kashmir's Pulwama district from 1.00 pm to 4.00 pm, while in north eastern Ganderbal and Kangan towns, it was relaxed from 1.00 to 3.00 pm, the spokesman said.

He said restrictions were also eased in East, West and South zones of Srinagar city for an indefinite period from 3.00 pm onwards, while in North and Hazratbal areas of the city, curfew was relaxed from 5.00 pm onwards.

In Anantnag and Bijbehara towns, curfew was relaxed from 3.00 to 7.00 pm, and in Kralpora and Kupwara towns from 2.00 to 6.00 pm, the spokesman said.

In central Kashmir Budgam district, curfew was relaxed in Shiekhpra amd Ompora from 4.00 pm to 7.00 pm and in Hydepora, PirBagh and Humhama from 3.00 pm to 7.00 pm.

Curfew was also relaxed in Shopian town from 4.00 pm onwards, he added.

The spokesman said, curfew was, however, re-imposed in Pulwama town after incidents of stone pelting.

Earlier, curfew was imposed across Kashmir valley in the wee hours today even as the separatists called for a break in their agitational programme.

Hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani had yesterday modified his protest schedule to exempt today and tomorrow from the agitation alleging that the Government was causing hardship to people by imposing indefinite curfew.

Curfew was relaxed in a phased manner across the Valley yesterday and the day before.

"The curfew in almost all the areas of the Valley has been relaxed in a phased manner. The Government is aware of the problems of the people and necessary steps are being taken to ease the problems," official sources said.

Curfew restrictions continued to remain in force for the 12th consecutive day in all the major towns of Kashmir Valley, including the entire Srinagar city.

Curfew was imposed in Srinagar city on September 12 and was extended to the entire Kashmir Valley next day following widespread violence.

Kashmir Valley has been in grip of violent protests since June 11 when a 17-year-old boy was killed after he was hit by a tear smoke shell during clashes at Rajouri Kadal in interior city.