Curfew Helps Kashmir Stay Incident Free On Friday

Curfew Helps Kashmir Stay Incident Free On Friday

22 February 2013
The Economic Times
Masood Hussain

Srinagar: As Chief Minister Omar Abdullah was busy briefing the central leaders about the situation that emerged in wake of parliament attack convict Afzal Guru's execution, the second crucial Friday passed off peacefully. Authorities imposed curfew restrictions in most of the city and rest of Kashmir observed a complete strike. Confirming that the situation remained peaceful across Kashmir, a police spokesman said there were stone pelting incidents in Qaimoh (Kulgam) and Trehgam (Kupwara). 'Police exercised maximum restraint while dealing with the law and order situations,' the spokesman said. 'A lady Rafeeqa of Qaimoh was injured and was shifted to hospital.' Massive police deployments prevented any kind of movement in most of the old city. Authorities did not permit any gathering in the grand mosque of Srinagar and Mirwaiz Umer Farooq who leads the prayers was also under house arrest. All separatist leaders are either limited to their houses or are in the jail since February 9. People, however, are getting tired of being caged by the two sides. While separatists have been sponsoring strikes, the government has been imposing curfew restrictions. Since Afzal's execution, Kashmir was open for only two days. For the rest of the time, it was either observing a strike or under curfew. Separatists seem to have realized it. While the moderates have not sponsored any strike, the hawks led by Syed Ali Geelani seem to have taken note of the brewing resentment. On Friday, a leader of Geelani's Hurriyat asked people to resume routine for the three days till Monday. Instead, it has asked people to opt for evening protests, graffiti and social websites to seek return of Guru's mortal remains. Separatists are trying to use Guru's execution to mend their fences. 'We have been conveyed by Geelani (current under house arrest in Delhi) that if JKLF and Hurriyat (M) (led by Mirwaiz) meet in Srinagar and create a joint strategy, it will be acceptable to him,' Ashraf Sehraie, Geelani's deputy was quoted saying in Srinagar. He, however, had no idea if it is happening or not.