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Curfew, clampdown in Kashmir ahead of August 5 anniversary

Special Operation Group Jammu and Kashmir Police use drones to monitor the situation during a curfew in Srinagar on August 4, 2020.   | Photo Credit: Nissar Ahmad

The Kashmir Valley wore a ghost town look ahead of the first anniversary of the revocation of J&K’s special status, with a strict curfew imposed in Srinagar and other towns in north and south Kashmir.

Also read: In one year, BJP’s political project sees J&K’s regional symbols vanishing

Nazir Ahmad, a milkman from Pulwama, said he could not drive to the old city in Srinagar to deliver milk due to the permanent barricades erected by the security forces at multiple places. “It was a nightmare to leave home. I had to return halfway,” he said.

Additional deployments were made in all protest prone pockets. Yellow plastic barricades and coils of concertina wires were spread on all major streets and roads in the city. Security forces used mobile bunkers to block streets in volatile localities.

Even the ambulances had to wait at the checkpoints before the security forces removed the concertina wires.

Policemen set up barricade at a checkpoint during a curfew in Srinagar on August 4, 2020.

Policemen set up barricade at a checkpoint during a curfew in Srinagar on August 4, 2020.   | Photo Credit: Nissar Ahmad

Highways, markets closed down

Closing down of highways and main markets were also reported from the towns of Anantnag, Baramulla, Kulgam, Pulwama and Shopian.

A clampdown was also launched against the PDP leaders, who recently called for observing August 5 as a “Black Day”. A PDP spokesman said Rouf Bhat, a PDP leader, was detained ahead of the anniversary.

“Bhat has been detained by the police since the party decided to organise peaceful protests on August 5 and observe it as black day. This is ‘Naya Kashmir’,” tweeted Iltija Mufti, daughter of incarcerated PDP president Mehbooba Mufti.

Terming August 5 as the “darkest day” in J&K’s history, NC spokesman Imran Dar said, “It was also sold to the rest of the country that the decisions of the BJP government have fared well with the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh. If the people are that pleased at the drastic changes undertaken last year then why do we have curfew imposed in Kashmir today?”

The J&K administration on Monday said there were inputs about possible protests and violence by Pakistan-sponsored groups.

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Printable version | Oct 1, 2020 11:50:14 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/curfew-clampdown-in-kashmir-ahead-of-august-5-anniversary/article32270638.ece

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