Indefinite curfew imposed in Kashmir fearing clash

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Srinagar, Oct 5 (UNI) All major towns and tehsils in the Kashmir valley were brought under indefinite curfew early today and major separatist leaders arrested apprehending trouble in the wake of 'Lal Chowk Chalo' call for tomorrow by the Coordination Committee.

Official sources said curfew was imposed from 0430 hrs in the morning to prevent people participating in the 'Lal Chowk Chalo' march tomorrow called by the Coordination Committee (CC), spearheading the present agitation in the valley.

The CC which is spearheading the agitation is demanding, among other things, opening of all cross-Line of Control(LoC) roads for trade and free movement, release of all detenues and withdrawal of troops and special powers to security forces in the state.

There was no report of any violation of curfew in the Valley, including this city.

According to police, the situation was by and large peaceful in all parts of the Valley and no violation was reported so far.

''It was a preventive measure to avoid any clash and damage to the property, '' said Jammu and Kashmir Principal Secretary, Home, Anil Goswami, who appealed to the people not to violate the curfew restriction and maintain calm.

'' The curfew will be lifted very soon if there was no violation,'' he said.

The entire Chowk was sealed last night from all the sides.

Besides, the CRPF and police personnel had also been deployed in strength in the civil lines to prevent any gathering there, official sources said.

Authorities put Chairman of the moderate Hurriyat Conference (HC) Mirwaiz Moulvi Omar Farooq under house arrest this morning to prevent him from attending the ''Lal Chowk Chalo'' march tomorrow.

They had also arrested Chairmen of HC Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Moulvi Omar Farooq, Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) Chief Mohammad Yaseen Malik along with more than 100 senior and second rank separatist leaders on August 24.

Majority of them are still under detention while about two dozen were booked under the Public Safety Act (PSA).

Media remained the worst hit as authorities have stopped the transmission of local news channel and newspapers could not reach the readers due to curfew restrictions.

People across the Kashmir Valley have in advance purchased rice, vegetables, pulses, flour and other essentials, leading to price rise.

UNI BAS GT RP HT1724

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