Curfew like restrictions to stop protests in Valley

Curfew like restrictions to stop protests in Valley

21 September 2012
The Daily Excelsior


Srinagar: The State Government today took preventive measures to stop protests across Kashmir valley over anti-Islam film by imposing curfew like restrictions, blocking internet and mobile services and arrested scores of youth in nocturnal raids. Scores of suspected youth were arrested in nocturnal raids across Kashmir last night to prevent protests across Kashmir. Police confirmed nocturnal arrests as a preventive measure but didn't reveal the number of suspected stone pelters arrests in these raids. By this evening around 200 suspected youth were in various police stations of Srinagar city and other trouble spots of Kashmir valley. Curfew like restrictions were imposed in parts of Srinagar falling under Nowhatta, Rainawari, Maharaj Gunj, Khanyar and Kral Khud police stations of old city. Police and para-military Central Reserve Police (CRPF) had erected barricades at several places in these area and blocked roads with concertina wires. No movement was allowed in the restricted areas of the old city. These areas are considered to be sensitive and witnessed protests over anti-Islam film over past one week. The curfew like restrictions were also imposed in parts of South Kashmir township of Anantnag to prevent any violent protests in the township. Security in other sensitive areas across Kashmir was also beefed up as a precautionary measure. The authorities had closed schools and colleges as a precautionary measure to prevent protests. For past one week students of various colleges took to streets in protest against the film. Sensing trouble, market places, business establishment and private and government offices remained mostly closed spontaneously and traffic was off the roads since morning. However, in civil lines areas some private cars were seen plying and situation was tense. There was no strike call. However, hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani had called for protests after Friday prayers across Kashmir valley. In downtown Srinagar, police lobbed teargas soon after Friday prayers near Babdemb where scores of women activists led by chief of Dukhtaran-e -Millat, Aasiya Andrabi were marching towards Lal Chowk. Police detained several activists of the women's group including its chief Asiya Andrabi. The authorities blocked Internet access and cellphone services in the afternoon, but, they were resumed at 5 p.m. The measure was taken to prevent protests as for past few years mobiles and facebook was used in Kashmir to fan the trouble. Although there was no major violence in Kashmir but police and stone pelting protesters clashed at several places in Srinagar, Pulwama, Shopian and Baramulla. Scores of protesters were arrested by police during these protests today. The peaceful protests over the anti-Islam film were reported across Kashmir. A police spokesman said here that peaceful marches were taken out at many places across the Kashmir valley against the blasphemous movie clips. 'Groups of people staged peaceful marches in Srinagar, Budgam, Ganderbal, Handwara, Baramulla, Bandipora, Kupwara, Sopore, Pulwama, Anantnag, Kulgam, Shopian and Awantipora', the spokesman added. The spokesman said that the situation remained peaceful across the valley however; a few minor stone pelting incidents were reported from Srinagar, Pulwama, Baramulla, and Shopian.