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Kashmir situation ‘under control’ with heavy restrictions in place

LiveMint logoLiveMint 29-05-2017 PTI

Srinagar: The situation in Kashmir was relatively peaceful as authorities continued curfew-like restrictions at a number of places in the Valley for the second day on Monday, fearing protests over the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Sabzar Bhat.

Meanwhile, the two-day strike call given by the separatists against the militant’s killing affected normal life in Kashmir for the second day. “Situation remained peaceful and under control throughout the Kashmir Valley,” a police spokesman said. He said there was a report about a stray incident of stone-pelting on a CRPF camp in Tahab area of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district. A group of miscreants pelted stones on the camp but police and security forces, using “maximum restraint”, chased them away, the spokesman said. No one was injured, he added.

Curfew-like restrictions continued in parts of Kashmir as a precautionary measure to maintain law and order following the killing of Sabzar in an encounter with security forces last Saturday. In Srinagar, curfew-like restrictions were in place in seven police station areas—Khanyar, Nowhatta, Safakadal, M R Gunj, Rainawari, Kralkhud and Maisuma. Similar restrictions continued in Anantnag and Shopian districts and Pulwama town in south Kashmir and in the township of Sopore in north Kashmir. In central Kashmir’s Budgam and Ganderbal districts, restrictions on the assembly of people under Section 144 of the CrPc also continued for the second day.

The curbs in these areas were imposed as a pre-emptive measure to prevent violence like that witnessed on Saturday, immediately after Bhat was killed along with his associate in the encounter in Soimoh area of Tral in Pulwama district. The separatist leaders—chairman of hardline Hurriyat Conference Syed Ali Shah Geelani, head of moderate faction of Hurriyat Conference Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and JKLF chief Yasin Malik—have called for a march to Tral on Tuesday to pay tributes to the slain militants. To prevent them from leading any protest marches, the authorities on Sunday arrested Malik from his residence and put Geelani and Mirwaiz under house detention.

Mobile internet services in the Valley have been suspended and the outgoing call facility on prepaid numbers has also been snapped as a precautionary measure. Kashmir University has postponed all examinations which were scheduled to be held on Monday and Tuesday. A spokesman of the university said fresh dates for the deferred examinations shall be notified later. The Islamic University of Science and Technology (IUST), Awantipora, also postponed an examination scheduled for Monday.

Schools and colleges have also been closed for two days in Srinagar and Pulwama.

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