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Srinagar reels under curfew for fifth consecutive day

By Mukhtar Ahmad
February 08, 2010 14:05 IST

Curfews like restrictions were imposed in more parts of Srinagar Monday to thwart a proposed separatist march.Early on Monday morning, police paramilitary and Central Reserve Police Force fanned out across the city restricting pedestrian and vehicular movement in Srinagar, which has been on the boil since Sunday last when a schoolboy was killed after being hit by a tear smoke shell.

The situation worsened further after another youth was killed allegedly in firing by the security forces in the Nishat area of Srinagar. The authorities had to impose strict curfew like restrictions in areas falling under five police stations in the old city since last Thursday to quell protests and violence.

The restrictions are continuing without any relaxation that has led to acute scarcity of essentials items in old parts of the city. Authorities enforced restrictions in old city and extended these to uptown areas to foil a proposed march called by the moderate, All Parties Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Moulvi Umar Farooq to the United Nations Military Observers Group headquarters in uptown Sonwar area.

The march as per the statement of the group had been called to 'highlight the increasing human rights violations in Kashmir'. Mirwaiz, however, continued to remain under house arrest in his Nageen residence for the fourth consecutive day. Authorities also detained other senior separatist leaders of the Mirwaiz led APHC in Srinagar in past two days.

Separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani also lent his support to the proposed march.Security forces had blocked all the entry points into the city from adjoining districts.Reports from other towns said life was paralyzed in view of a shutdown, with shops, markets, government offices, banks remaining shut and traffic staying off the roads.

Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar