Life disrupted after Lal Chowk sealed off for search operations

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Srinagar, Oct 5 (UNI) Life in the civil lines, including historical Lal Chowk, the nerve centre of the summer capital, was affected yet again this afternoon after Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) sealed off the entire area.

The CRPF personnel, weilding automatic weapons and wearing bullet jackets, sealed off the area from Court Road crossing to Amira Kadal immediately after Friday prayers were over in the Hamza mosque on the banks of the river Jehlum.

Hundreds of devotees, including women and children, besides shopkeepers, were directed to remain within the sealed area.

''We have orders not to allow anybody to leave the sealed area till the senior officers arrive,'' a CRPF jawan said.

Later, the CRPF personnel allowed the pedestrians, including lawyers of the lower courts, to leave after frisking and checking their identity cards.

''The authorities claim that situation has improved and security forces has been deployed for the safety of the local people, but the ground reality is that locals are being humiliated and harassed,'' said Abdul Aziz, a retired teacher.

The shopkeepers said their business had been suffering due to frequent search operations by the security forces in the civil lines, adding it was a routine to seal off the area.

Traffic, too, was diverted to other routes, leading to traffic jams, after the CRPF parked one of its vehicle in the middle of the road near Court Road crossing.

UNI

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