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A day after Omar's plea, Kashmir under curfew again

By Mukhtar Ahmad
July 05, 2010 10:55 IST

An indefinite curfew was imposed in Srinagar on Monday and restrictions were put in place in other towns to thwart a march called by separatists.
To protest the killing of three teenagers allegedly by the police, the hard-line separatist All Parties Hurriyat Conference headed by Syed Ali Shah Geelani has asked people to march to south Kashmir's Anantnag town on Monday.
The forces beefed up security arrangements in the old city area of Srinagar and the 56-km long Srinagar Jammu National Highway till Anantnag, the venue of the proposed separatist march.
Late on Sunday night, loud speaker mounted police jeeps patrolled through the city, announcing the imposition of the curfew and urging people to stay indoors.
Barricades have been erected at all the traffic inter-sections in the city and coils of razor fitted wire blocked the lanes and by-lanes of Srinagar.
The police and Central Reserve Police Force personnel have been deployed in Srinagar and other towns in the valley to enforce the curfew.
The curfew and restrictions have crippled life across the valley again, only a day after markets and shops opened in the wake of week-long protests.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah appealed to the locals "to make an all inclusive effort to bring peace and normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir and deliver better governance".

 "The Kashmir issue needs a political resolution and this can only happen when all the stakeholders make an effort to find a solution," he said.

Chairing a meeting of prominent citizens, representatives of traders, hotels, travel agents, house boat owners, artisans, taxi operators, shopkeepers, shikara unions, transporters and members of the civil society on Sunday, Omar said, "Anger should not be expressed by throwing stones and disturbing law and order, as there are other democratic methods of registering protest'.

"Maintenance of law and order and tranquility is the responsibility of both the citizens and the government," he said, adding, "Both should complement each other in this task".
The chief minister said while "the government is determined to discipline the security forces and book the violators of human rights, it is the responsibility of citizens to play their role in influencing those who indulge in stone pelting".

Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar