Curfew in Valley, Ramban, Jammu-Srinagar highway closed

Srinagar, July 19: Curfew was Friday imposed in Srinagar, many towns of the Valley and areas in Ramban district of Jammu while the Jammu-Srinagar highway was closed in the wake of protests after four people died in BSF firing Thursday in Gool village of Ramban district.

A senior police officer said: "Curfew has been imposed in entire Srinagar, Badgam, Ganderbal and Bandipora districts Friday. It has also come into force in Pulwama, Shopian, Kulgam, Anantnag, Sopore and Bijbehara towns.

"There will be restrictions under section 144 in some other places Friday."

Kashmir University has cancelled all examinations scheduled Friday.

Separatist leaders Syed Ali Geelani and Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, who have called for three- and two-day shutdowns, respectively, to protest the killings, have been placed under house arrest in Srinagar.

Pro-Azadi Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chairman Muhammad Yasin Malik has called a protest march in Srinagar Friday. Malik and other JKLF activists were arrested in Srinagar Thursday.

Of the injured in Thursday's incident, 25 people are being treated at Ramban district hospital, two at SMHS Hospital in Srinagar and 17 at Government Medical College Hospital in Jammu.

A Border Security Force (BSF) trooper also sustained a bullet injury.

Trouble erupted in Gool village Thursday when villagers, alleging desecration of a mosque and beating up of the local imam by BSF personnel, stormed a BSF camp.

BSF inspector general (Frontier Jammu) Rajeev Krishna told reporters the BSF guards at the camp had opened fire to prevent looting of arms and ammunition.

Locals have dismissed the BSF explanation as 'fabrication' saying that the troopers had opened fire at peaceful protesters.

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah also dismissed the explanation, saying the firing was "unacceptable and those involved will be brought to justice".

Thursday, Omar spoke to union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde who ordered special DG BSF to conduct a probe into the firing incident.

Meanwhile, the Amarnath Yatra-bound batch of pilgrims was not allowed to move towards the Valley from Jammu because of the closure of the national highway.

Devotees were, however, allowed to proceed towards the holy cave from the two base camps of Baltal in the north and Nunwan (Pahalgam) in the south.


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