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Updated: July 18, 2010 17:25 IST

Curfew-like situation prevails in Kashmir

PTI
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An Amarnath pilgrim walks after returning from the holy shrine during a shutdown called by separatists in Srinagar on Sunday. Photo: Nissar Ahmad
The Hindu An Amarnath pilgrim walks after returning from the holy shrine during a shutdown called by separatists in Srinagar on Sunday. Photo: Nissar Ahmad

A curfew-like situation prevailed in Kashmir today as separatists enforced a shutdown while authorities imposed curfew in Sopore town and prohibitory orders in rest of the valley to maintain law and order.

Normalcy prevailed in the valley yesterday after 21 days of strike but the relief was short-lived as protestors again clashed with police.

Authorities brought Sopore town under curfew while prohibitory orders have been imposed in 12 police station areas in Srinagar as a precautionary measure, including Nowhatta, Khanyar, Rainawari, Safakadal, Soura, Batmaloo, Maisuma, Kralkhud and Sonawar, police said.

Heavy deployment has been made in the rest of the valley including Baramulla, 55 km from here, which witnessed violent clashes in the wake of a controversy over a teenager’s death.

Senior Superintendent of Police, Baramulla, Sheikh Mehmood maintained that the youth drowned in the river and denied allegations that he was chased by Special Operations Group personnel and pushed into the river.

The body of the youth, Faizan Rafiq Buhroo, has not been fished out from the river so far.

Deputy Commissioner of Baramulla Bashir Ahmad Bhat said the first priority is to recover the body of the youth. “The circumstances of his drowning are not clear. We have reports that he drowned,” he said.

As the news about the drowning of youth spread, people took to streets and fought pitched battles with policemen in several areas of the town.

Hardline faction of Hurriyat Conference headed by jailed leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani had called for the shutdown in the Kashmir valley to protest killing of several youths in the past one month.

The situation in the valley became tense on June 11 when a teenager was killed after he was allegedly hit by a teargas shell at Gani Stadium near Rajourikadal.

The situation worsened on June 26 and the authorities clamped curfew and promulgated prohibitory orders to foil a march, called by the separatists, to Sopore.

As the situation deteriorated further in the wake of killing of three persons in Batmaloo area in Srinagar, army was deployed. On Friday, authorities imposed curfew in several towns to thwart a separatist march to Batmaloo.

Militant killed in gun battle

A militant was killed in a gun battle between terrorists and security forces in Kishtwar district of Jammu and Kashmir early today.

Conducting searches acting on specific information, troops of Rastriya Rifles and Special Task Force (STF) launched a “surgical operation” in Patnazi area of Bonjawa belt in Kishtwar district, a senior army officer told PTI.

An encounter broke out between the militants and the security forces during the operation in which one militant was killed, the officer said adding, his identity is yet to be ascertained.

One AK rifle, grenades and ammunition were seized from the spot of the encounter.

Two Lashker-e-Toiba operatives, including ‘area commander’ Mohmmad Shafi Pathan, active in militancy for the last 20 years, were arrested from Patnazi during the search and cordon operation in Kishtwar for the past two days.

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