Afzal Guru hanging: Media curbs continue in Kashmir, curfew relaxed
Srinagar: With tension running high in the aftermath of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru’s execution in Tihar Jail, the authorities on Tuesday relaxed curfew for three hours in five police station areas of Srinagar city, which largely remained unaffected from the protests against hanging of Parliament attack convict Mohammed Afzal Guru.
"Curfew has been relaxed in the areas under the jurisdiction of Ram Munshi Bagh, Rajbagh, Kothibagh, Shergarhi and Saddar police stations from 4 pm," a police spokesman said.
Situation during the relaxed hours will be reviewed before taking a decision on providing similar relief in other areas of the Valley, he said.
However, there was no sign of public movement in the areas where curfew was relaxed as the people were not aware about it.
Reports on Tuesday said that an unofficial gag order on media has deprived the people of newspapers in the Kashmir Valley for the past three days. The publication of newspapers has stopped and more restrictions are likely to continue till the normalcy returns to the Valley.
The state authorities stopped the publication of the local Urdu and English newspapers since Sunday and all the national and local news channels have been put off the air and internet services have also been suspended since Saturday- the day when guru was executed.
No local or national newspaper was available in the valley on Monday. While national newspapers could not reach the stands due to continued curfew, local newspapers could not be published due to police instructions.
Reacting to the reports of ban on newspaper in Kashmir, CM Omar Abdullah on late Tuesday tweeted that there is no such ban. “There is NO ban on newspapers in Kashmir. Papers are choosing not to print because restrictions make delivery of newspapers impossible,” he tweeted.
Omar even asked those claiming the existence of a “government gag” to produce a copy of the same. He also tweeted that in case of a ban, it would have extended to the Internet editions as well which is not the case as they are being regularly updated.
He further tweeted, “As the restrictions ease the newspapers will resume publication because the problem isn't with printing its with them being unable to sell.”
Meawhwhile, the protests broke out in several areas of Sopore and Baramulla and Sumbal area and three deaths were also reported by the authorities.
Meanwhile, 14 additional companies of the BSF were rushed to Kashmir Valley to counter any law and order trouble.