Srinagar: The curfew, shutdown and protests continued across Kashmir Valley on Saturday as unrest that started with the killing of top Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani entered day 43 while cellular services were restored today morning after nearl a week.
All the entry and exit points leading to city centre – Lal Chowk – were sealed off by government forces with razor wires, barricades and mobile bunkers and the civilian movement was completely restricted. Hundreds of police and CRPF men were deployed in Lal Chowk area to prevent any kind of protest while night curfew remained imposed in several Srinagar areas including city centre.
The curfew in Srinagar’s Old City, Maisuma, Batamaloo and other areas also remained imposed strictly as thousands of forces personnel in riot gear guarded the streets after culmination of dawn prayers. Many locals of Old City alleged that they were not allowed to buy milk and vegetables by forces. The curfew also remained enforced in Anantnag, Pampore and Pulwama townships of south Kashmir.
After being suspended for six days, the private cellular companies on the directions of government today morning restored mobile services in Kashmir Valley. While both outgoing and incoming services of postpaid connections have been restored, the outgoing on prepaid connections continues to remain barred including on State-run BSNL. However, the BSNL postpaid connections are functioning without any suspensions ever since the unrest in valley started.
Besides curfew and protests, the shutdown continued across Kashmir Valley. All the shops, commercial establishments, education institutions and most of the banks remained closed. The government offices including Civil Secretariat continue to witness low attendance of the employees.
Meanwhile, reports reaching here said that an elderly couple was injured in pellet firing by the government forces in Tral area of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district. According to reports, forces fired pellets on the couple after they resisted the arrest of their son in Kamla village last night in restive Tral.
Reports quoting a local resident said the house of 80-year-old Abdul Qayoom to arrest his son, Shabir Ahmad Fallahi who heads the Jamat-e-Islami at the district level.“He was not present in the house at the time of the raid. When forces tried to arrest his brother Noor Muhammad, the elderly parents resisted,” said the local. The couple was shifted to hospital and their condition is being stated stable.
In the meanwhile, scores of patients and drivers of today staged protests near Old Secretariat after forces disallowed ambulances to proceed ahead during curfew. The protesters said that the cops manning the road stopped ambulances and refused to allow to them to move between hospitals.
A police official said here that the situation across Kashmir remained by and large peaceful on Saturday. “There were some protests and clashes at Reban in Baramulla while as peaceful protests were held at Pahoo in Pulwama and Naina Pulwama. In the evening, clashes erupted at several areas of Old City,” he said. A massive peaceful rally was held by people at Aripanthan village of Budgam today where five civilians were killed early this week. (GNS)