Curfew In Srinagar To Stop March to UN Military Observers Group Office
SRINAGAR: Curfew has been imposed in parts of the capital Srinagar city to thwart a separatist sponsored march to the United Nations Military Observers Group office here as the shutdown in the valley completed three months today.
Authorities have imposed severe restrictions in Srinagar city as well as parts of south and north Kashmir to foil the Hurriyat's protest march. Srinagar's district magistrate, Farooq Ahmad Lone, restrictions will remain in force "to maintain law and order".
“Curfew has been imposed as a precautionary measure in seven police station areas of Srinagar city including Nowhatta, Khanyar, Rainawari, Safakadal, Maharaj Gunj, Maisuma and Batamaloo," Lone said.
In its latest protest calender, the powerful Hurriyat trio of Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik, who are either under house arrest or in jail, had urged people to march to the UN Military Observers Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) headquarter office in Sonawar area of the city.
As a preemptive measure, authorities have sealed all roads to Sonawar's high security zone, housing the state's political leaders as well as top bureaucrats, and also prevented any vehicular or pedestrian movement towards the UNMOGIP office. The historic Jamia Masjid has also been sealed to prevent any protests.
A semblance of calm has returned to the valley after the authorities launched a sweeping crackdown on freedom protesters with nearly 7000 persons, mostly youths, arrested in over 2300 cases filed in the last three months.
According to reports, at least 480 persons, mostly affiliated with Hurriyat groups, have been booked under the draconian Public Safety Act to curb protests. The PSA has been described as a 'lawless law' by Amnesty International which gives extraordinary investigative powers to forces.
However, despite the crackdown, all the educational institutions remain closed while public transport and businesses are shut due to the strike call issued by the Hurriyat who are demanding India initiate a dialogue for resolving the Kashmir issue.
At least 90 civilian protesters have been killed in retaliatory action against protesters by security forces and over 12,000 were injured following the killing of Hizb commander Burhan Wani on July 8.