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2016-04-15 05:38:32

Uneasy calm prevails in Kashmir, Curfew continues in Handwara; restrictions, shutdown cripple life in other parts

Curfew-like restrictions imposed by authorities and shutdown called by the separatists against civilian killings in Handwara paralysed life for second consecutive day in Valley on Thursday.

Authorities also suspended mobile internet services in some parts of North Kashmir.

Curfew-like restrictions were imposed in Kupwara town, Kralgund, Handwara, Magam and Langate areas of North Kashmir to prevent people from taking to roads and staging demonstrations against the civilian killings.

Four persons including an elderly woman were killed in two days of force personnel firing and tear gas shelling in Handwara area of Kupwara district on Tuesday and Wednesday.

In Handwara town, youth defied curfew and staged demonstrations. They clashed with the force personnel.

According to a local news gathering agency, KNS, a youth was injured in Handwara town in tear gas shelling this evening.

The youth identified as Javaid Maqbool Bhat son of Mohammad Maqbool Bhat of Bhat Mohalla, Handwara was hit by the shell in his lower abdomen during clashes in the town this evening.

“We rushed Javaid to Handwara sub district centre, where from doctors advised us to rush him to SMHS,” Khazir Mohammad, uncle of Javaid told KNS.

“We are on way to SMHS,” he said.

Authorities also imposed security restrictions in areas falling under six police stations in downtown and uptown Srinagar — Rainawari, Maharajgunj, Nowhatta, Khanyar, Safakadal and Maisuma.

In downtown Srinagar and some areas of uptown including Maisuma, Nowgam, Batamaloo Chanapora, Natipora, Rambagh and Barzulla, youth took to streets to protest the civilian killings.

The angry youth clashed with police and paramilitary personnel, who lobbed tear smoke shells and resorted to baton charge. The youth pelted stones on the cops and the clashes between the two sides continued for some time.

In areas, where the security restrictions were not imposed, normal life remained crippled by the strike called by separatists.

Shops, business establishments and petrol pumps remained closed while public transport was off the roads.

Authorities, meanwhile, have suspended mobile internet services in north Kashmir areas to prevent people from sharing information.

The 3G mobile internet service was also suspended in Srinagar and some other parts of the Valley. The authorities later restored 2G services but 3G services remain suspended.

Incidents of stone-pelting were also reported from South Kulgam, Bandipora , Sopore, Palhallan and Pattan areas.

A sumo driver was injured in clashes in Kulgam. He was later taken to nearby hospital for treatment.

Meanwhile, IGP Kashmir range, SJM Gilani said restrictions would continue at sensitive places in Valley tomorrow.

The separatist leaders have called for protests after Friday prayers tomorrow against the civilian killings in Handwara

“We will be continuing restrictions to maintain law and order and avoid any untoward incident,” Gilani said.

He said restrictions are imposed to avoid any troublesome incident as the situation was still tense in Handwara.

The IGP said the situation in the Valley was by and large peaceful except in Kupwara district.

Police Speaks

A police spokesman said the situation remained largely peaceful throughout the valley though a few incidents of stone pelting were reported from Handwara and Srinagar.

He said miscreants pelted stones in Magam, Handwara, Zakoora, and HMT areas.

“The deployments exercised restraint and there were no reports of injuries to any civilian although some cops were injured, one of them seriously who was referred to Srinagar from Handwara,” the spokesman .

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