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Curfew imposed in Srinagar to thwart protest march

By Mukhtar Ahmad
July 02, 2010 13:26 IST
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Sensing trouble ahead of a proposed march by separatists, authorities on Friday brought the entire Srinagar district under curfew.

With overnight protests in the city and an abortive attempt by activists of a woman separatist outfit to take out a march to Pather Masjid in defiance of curfew on Thursday, District Magistrate of Srinagar Mehraj Ahmad Kakroo announced the imposition of curfew in the entire Srinagar district on Friday morning.

Curfew was imposed in seven police station areas of Srinagar on June 28 following violent protests over the killing of youths in alleged firing by security forces.

The authorities continued an indefinite curfew in north Kashmir's Sopore and Baramulla towns and Anantnag, Kulgam, Pulwama, Koimoh, Kakpora and Bejibehara towns in south Kashmir.
Late on Thursday night, authorities moved in police personnel and Central Reserve Police Force troops in Srinagar and other towns in Kashmir to enforce the curfew.
The hard-line separatist All Parties Hurriyat Conference headed by Syed Ali Shah Geelani has called for a rally to Eidgah grounds to protest against the alleged human rights violation in Kashmir on Friday.
The historic Jamia mosque area in the old city is under a strict security blanket and no movement is being allowed anywhere in the capital.
On Monday, the authorities had allowed the separatists' march to Sopore, but they intercepted the marchers on the outskirts of the city. Several policemen and protestors were injured in the ensuing clashes.
Meanwhile, 12,000 pilgrims left from the base camps of Baltel in north Kashmir and Nunwan in south Kashmir towards the Amarnath cave shrine today morning.
Despite the curfew and tensions, authorities said the yatra was proceeding smoothly from both parts.

Image: A general view of a deserted road during curfew in Srinagar | Photograph: Danish Ismail/Reuters

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Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar