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Civil curfew in Kashmir to protest PM's visit

October 11, 2008 12:41 IST

Life in Kashmir Valley came to a standstill on Saturday as people observed "civil curfew" called by separatist coordination committee to protest against Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's [Images] visit and use of force by security personnel against peaceful demonstrators.

Shops, markets and petrol pumps remained closed and transport off the roads in Srinagar [Images] on Saturday while law enforcement agencies enforced prohibitory orders under section 144 in downtown city, official sources said.

Two persons were killed and 75 others, including 34 security personnel, were injured in day-long clashes between demonstrators and the law enforcing agencies in parts of the city and Baramulla district town of north Kashmir on Friday.

Residents of downtown city alleged curfew has been imposed as police and paramilitary forces in riot-gear were not allowing people to come out of their houses.

However, officials said no curfew has been imposed. Law enforcement agencies were only enforcing prohibitory orders banning assembly of more than five persons, they said.

Educational institutions remained closed and attendance in government offices was thin, the sources said.

Complete shutdown was observed in Anantnag, Baramulla, Budgam, Pulwama, Shopian, Kulgam, Ganderbal, Bandipora and Kupwara, according to reports from district towns.

The separatists' coordination committee had given a call for peaceful protests on Friday and observance of civil curfew today to convey to the prime minister that the Kashmir problem was not an issue of packages, but involved the future of a nation.

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