Restrictions to foil Hurriyat's rally in old city
Srinagar: Authorities on Monday imposed restrictions in old city here to foil plans of moderate faction of Hurriyat Conference to hold a rally at Eidgah to commemorate the death anniversary of its two assassinated leaders.
Restrictions were placed in five police station areas in downtown city as deployment of police and CRPF personnel was increased in the neighborhoods to foil any attempts to take out a rally, official sources said.
Besides the old city, additional police and paramilitary forces were deployed in some vulnerable areas of the city.
The moderate Hurriyat faction headed by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, who has been put under house arrest since yesterday, had called for shutdown in the valley and a march to Eid-Gah, where his father Maulvi Farooq and Hurriyat moderate Abdul Gani Lone are buried.
Farooq, who headed the Awami Action Committee was assassinated in 1990 by unidentified gunmen, whom police claim were members of militant group Hizbul Mujahideen.
Lone was shot dead at a rally, called to pay tributes to Farooq, on this day in 2002.
The strike call given by the Hurriyat evoked a mixed response as shops, schools and business establishments in the commercial hub of Lal Chowk and adjoining areas remained closed and traffic was thin on the roads.
However, the suburbs and civil lines areas of the city saw people carrying on with their normal day-to-day activities.
The Eidgah march to pay tributes to the assassinated leaders has been earlier also foiled by authorities in 2011.
Restrictions were imposed in parts of the city as there were apprehensions that yesterday's internal clash within the moderate Hurriyat could have spilled to streets during today's proposed march, a police spokesman said.
"This morning a team of district officers led by District Magistrate went to meet Mirwaiz Umar Farooq for facilitation of the proposed march and rally at Eid-Gah. However, Umar Farooq declined to meet the team," the spokesman said.
He said the situation left the authorities with "no option but to impose restrictions" in some parts of the city "to avoid any breach of peace".