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A day after violence, silent fear grips Valley

June 21, 2010 12:58 IST

The strike called by the two groups of the separatist All Parties Hurriyat Conference brought in a complete shutdown and undeclared curfew in the Valley on Monday, a day after violence left one person dead and over a dozen people injured in Srinagar.

Markets, educational institutions and banks were shut while public and private transport went off the roads in Srinagar and other major and minor towns of the Valley.

Authorities moved police and paramilitary central reserve police force reinforcements in the old city areas to enforce curfew-like-restrictions.

Road intersections have been blocked with coils of razor fitted wire to disallow pedestrian and vehicular movement.

Other separatist groups too have supported the protest shutdown called by the moderate and hardline groups of the APHC.

On Sunday, a 26-year-old man identified as Javed Ahmad Malla was killed and four others were wounded when an unruly mob attacked a CRPF bunker in the Noorbagh locality of the city.

The CRPF said it opened fire in self-defence, as the mob had tried to torch its bunker.

The violence started following the death of another 25-year-old youth, Mohammad Rafiq Bangroo, who succumbed to his injuries after he was admitted in a hospital a week ago.

Bangroo's family has allegedly that he had been beaten by the CRPF troops during last week's violence.

Reports from other towns said the shutdown evoked a near total response.

Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, ho replaced the Srinagar district police chief Javed Riyaz with Ashiq Bukhari, summoned the top brass of the state police and the CRPF to take apprise the law and order situation in Srinagar.

Omar expressed sorrow over the loss of innocent lives and directed the security agencies to strictly adhere to the Standard Operating Procedure while dealing with law and order situations. He added that "all care should be taken to avoid human rights violation and collateral damage to the people".

The chief minister said the government was committed to "zero tolerance against any human rights violation" and that the violators would not be allowed to go "scot free".

Abdullah said the government was also committed to protecting "the honour and dignity of people" and security agencies must take necessary measures in this direction.
Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar