Shopian Remains Caged For 15th Day

Shopian Remains Caged For 15th Day

21 September 2013
Rising Kashmir
Muhammad Suhail

Shopian: Shopian town continued to remain under siege for 15th consecutive day on Saturday while Deputy Commissioner has said the restrictions may be lifted on Sunday. Police and CRPF men armed with automatic weapons and anti-riot gears remained deployed throughout the town today. The cops were manning the barricades erected at main entry and exit points to restrict movement of people. The locals said the cops did not allow them to venture out of their homes. Owing to continued curfew, people are facing acute shortage of essentials, eatables, baby food and medicines. The apple traders and farmers of the town have incurred huge losses due to continued curfew. “The Mandi is closed and apples are rotting in the orchards,” Rauf Ahmad, an apple trader of Shopian told Rising Kashmir over phone. The locals accused government of trying to break their resolve by not lifting the curfew. “’No incident of violence has taken place in last four days and yet government has not lifted the curfew. It sends the signal that government is trying to break our resolve. However, they are seriously mistaken,” they said. Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner Shopian Bashir Ahmad Bhat said administration was hopeful that they won’t need to impose curfew on Sunday. “A decision regarding the issue will be taken in a review meeting with security agencies this evening,” he said. The curfew was imposed in Shopian after paramilitary CRPF men killed four persons at Gagren, Shopian on September 7. The paramilitary personnel killed another person in the same area on September 11, triggering more protests and unrest. Meanwhile, locals have demanded that the ‘killer’ camp should be removed from the area. CRPF men are being shifted from the Gagren camp and stationed in District Police Lines Shopian. The cabinet had on September 12 decided to replace CRPF men of the camp with Jammu Kashmir Armed Police (JKAP). However, locals termed shifting of CRPF men from the camp as mere ‘eyewash’. “The entire camp should be removed from the area to ensure safety and hassle free movement of people,” they said.