Restrictions back in Srinagar, to continue tomorrow also

Restrictions back in Srinagar, to continue tomorrow also


Srinagar: Curfew-like restrictions have been imposed in Shehar-e-Khas (SeK) and downtown Srinagar this morning as a precautionary measure to prevent any violence as one of the three Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) militants Sajjad Ahmad Bhat killed in an encounter in the central Kashmir district of Badgam was resident of Nowhatta. Police said restrictions under Section 144 CrPC have been imposed in the areas falling under five police stations of Nowhatta, M R Gunj, Safa Kadal, Khanyar and Rainwari in the downtown and SeK. However, the situation on the ground was entirely different as the people were being directed to remain indoors as curfew has been imposed since this morning. Official sources told UNI that restrictions will continue in the downtown and SeK tomorrow on the death anniversary of 22 Kashmiris, who were killed when Dogra police opened fire outside the central Jail, Srinagar, in 1931. The government is observing it as Martyrs Day and holiday in the state every year. Immediately after the news spread that one of the three militants killed in Badgam encounter, was a resident of Nowhatta downtown, people, mostly youths hit the streets pelting stones and raising separatist slogans. Sensing trouble, authorities immediately imposed restrictions though stone pelting spread to some other places. Later, hundreds of security forces and state police personnel were rushed to strictly implement the restrictions. The main Nallahmar road from Khanayar to Chattabal was closed at several other places with barbed wire. Bullet proof bunker vehicles had also been parked in the middle of the roads to prevent any traffic movement. Residents on both sides of the road were directed to remain indoors by the security forces and state police. Main roads at Safa Kadal, Nawa Bazar, Nawa Kadal, Rangar Stop, Khanyar, Rajouri Kadal, Seki Dafar and Nawa Kadal have also been closed. A group of journalists were turned back from Rangar stop from going towards historic Jamia Masjid, where no Friday prayers could be offered for the past about a month due to restrictions. The main gates of the Masjid, stronghold of chairman of moderate Hurriyat Conference (HC) Mirwaiz Moulvi Omar Farooq, were again closed today. A large number of security forces and state police personnel remained deployed in the Jamia market to prevent any untoward incident. Similar situation was also witnessed in other areas of SeK and downtown. Though there are no restrictions in the civil lines and uptown, shops belonging to owners from downtown and SeK remained closed as they were not allowed by the security forces. Traffic and other activities in the restriction free areas was near normal. In the Galwanpora Hyderpora area, security forces had to burst teargas shells and resorted to lathicharge to disperse the demonstrators, who were demanding body of a local HM militant killed in the encounter.

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