Non-stop curfew in Kashmir Valley

26 August 2008
The Hindu


Srinagar: Curfew in all ten districts of Kashmir Valley continued for the third day on Tuesday even as the situation remained peaceful. With the death of another man injured in firing by security forces at Hajan, the death toll in the violence since Monday has gone up to six. As Bashir Ahmad Bahar’s body was taken to his residence, several hundred people gathered chanting pro-freedom slogans. CRPF and Army personnel had opened fire this past Friday to quell demonstrations which erupted in many parts of Kashmir after people defied curfew, killing five persons. The police have arrested top separatist leaders Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik besides hundreds who were organising three successive marches in Kashmir in the past two weeks. As the authorities have not relaxed the curfew imposed on Saturday night, people are unable to fetch essentials. Even baby food is not available and patients are in need of medicines. At the Lal Ded Maternity Hospital, attendants staged a demonstration alleging highhandedness by the CRPF. “We have seen curfew but this is emergency,” said Sara at the hospital. Sources said Governor N.N. Vohra reviewed the situation at a high-level meeting. Director-General of Police Kuldip Khoda told The Hindu that the situation was being examined and a decision on relaxing the curfew would be taken. “The situation is well under control,” he added. here have been incidents of curfew defiance by small groups at some places, but Srinagar, which saw violent protests during the last ten days, was totally peaceful barring a few incidents of stone-throwing by children. Meanwhile, newspapers failed to hit the stands for the second consecutive day on Tuesday as the CRPF did not allow journalists to move and refused to honour the curfew passes. Six journalists were beaten up by CRPF personnel on Tuesday while they were on their way to work. “We have taken up the matter with the authorities concerned and I think the situation will improve soon,” said Anand Maheshwari, Inspector-General at the CRPF headquarters in Delhi. “We have given clear instructions that media persons should not be harassed,” he added.