DAY 7: Kashmir Paralyzed7 February 2010
Srinagar: Life in Kashmir remained paralyzed for seventh consecutive day Sunday, with old city under undeclared curfew for the fifth day, while major districts and towns of the Valley observed a complete shutdown against the killing of two Srinagar teenagers for seventh consecutive day today. OLD CITY UNDER SIEGE The old city areas under the jurisdiction of police station Khanyar, Nowhatta, Rainawari, Maharaj Ganj, Safa Kadal and Zaina Kadal continued to be under undeclared curfew on Sunday. Policemen assisted by baton-wielding paramilitary CRPF troopers were deployed in large numbers on the deserted streets to prevent people from venturing out of their homes. All the approach roads leading to these areas were sealed by erecting barricades and laying concertina wires. However, later in the day, the restrictions were relaxed for a few hours during which pedestrian and vehicular movement was allowed. Pertinently massive protests had erupted in old city on last Monday after 14-year-old teenager, Wamiq Farooq of Rainawari was killed by a teargas shell fired by an Assistant Sub Inspector of Police, who was placed under suspension. Authorities had imposed undeclared curfew in the old city on Thursday and since then restrictions are in place. In Brein, Nishat-where troopers killed another teenager, Zahid Farooq, on Friday-youth staged protests against his killing demanding stern punishment to the paramilitary troopers who killed Zahid in “cold-blood.” Meanwhile, in uptown areas of the city, the restrictions were relaxed as pedestrian and vehicular movement was allowed. All the shops and businesses remained closed today while traffic also remained suspended for seventh day. Reports pouring in from north and south Kashmir said that major districts and towns observed complete shutdown for 7th day today. MALIK VISITS ZAHID’S RESIDENCE The Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front chairman, Muhammad Yasin Malik, Sunday, visited the residence of Zahid Farooq in Nishat. “As soon as curfew was relaxed, Malik along with Muhammad Hussain Altaf and Imtiyaz Ahmad Bitta visited Brein Nishat to express sympathies with the bereaved family,” a senior JKLF leader said. “It is a gruesome murder. Zahid was martyred by the BSF troopers without any reason. We strongly condemn this barbaric act. Our protest can’t get back Zahid, but we can save others by demonstrating against this gruesome act,” Malik as told mourners. MINISTERS EXPRESS GRIEF The Minister for Rural Development, Ali Muhammad Sagar, Chief Minister’s advisor, Mubarak Gul and Minister of State for Tourism, Nasir Aslam Wani today visited Zahid Farooq’s residence at Brein Nishat and expressed sympathies with the bereaved family. According to an official communiqué, the ministers assured the family guilty would be given exemplary punishment and Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah, has already ordered a probe. SITUATION REVIEWED A high level meeting of civil and police officers was held here today to review the overall situation in the valley. Minister for Rural Development, Panchayats and Law and Parliamentary Affairs, Ali Muhammad Sagar, who chaired the meeting, expressed satisfaction over the arrangements made by civil and police administration for maintaining law and order. He asked the concerned authorities to complete the investigation in the unfortunate killing of Zahid Farooq within the stipulated time and submit the report so that the culprits are brought to book and dealt under law of the land. Others who attended the meeting included Advisor to Chief Minister, Mubarak Gul, Minister of State for Tourism, Nasir Aslam Wani, MLC, G Q Pardesi, DG Police, Kuldeep Khoda, Additional DG CID, K. Rajendra, IG Police, Farooq Ahmad, Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir,. Naseema Lankar, IG CRPF, DIG Kashmir,. H.K. Lohia, DIG BSF, S.A. Alvi, Deputy Commissioner, Srinagar,. Mehraj Ahmad Kakroo and other officers were present in the meeting. RESTRICTIONS TODAY: DM The District Magistrate Srinagar, Me’raj Ahmad Kakroo, told Greater Kashmir that no procession or gathering would be allowed in any part of the city on Monday. “There is Section 144 Cr Pc in operation and nobody would be allowed to flout it,” he said. However, Kakroo said that there won’t by curfew in any part of Srinagar.