JK: Undeclared curfew cripples life

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Srinagar, Nov 21: Undeclared curfew, coupled with chaos and confusion on Friday, Nov 21 crippled life in the summer capital and its adjoining areas, where after every ten feet a security force jawan was deployed with automatic weapons.

However, an official in the Police Control Room (PCR) here said that there were no curfew restrictions in any part of the valley, including Srinagar and its adjoining areas.

But the ground situation was totally different with the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) deployed after every ten feet on the streets turning people back.

The situation elsewhere in the valley was normal.

A group of school children waiting for their bus in the uptown was returned by the security personnel.

This correspondent on way to office from his house was stopped at four places by the CRPF personnel. However, after checking the identity cards and frisking, he was allowed to go, while others were turned back.

''We have been told that curfew has been imposed since 0400 hrs today, a CRPF jawan told this correspondent at Natipora crossing and again at Rambagh''.

He said there were strict instructions not to allow anybody without a valid government pass, including the election duty card.

Vehicles coming from the outskirts were being stopped at Rambagh bridge on Srinagar-airport road. One side of which was closed and vehicles were being sent back. However, the ill were being allowed to move towards the city.

People coming from north Kashmir were being stopped at Shalteang and Qamarwari and only emergency and associated with media were being allowed to move towards city.

Similar reports were also received from other areas where people were not allowed to move because of curfew restriction. At Rainawari, people in the morning were told that curfew has been imposed in the city. However, as the day progressed, the restrictions were eased and people start moving out of their homes and some shops were opened.

However, at 1100 hrs a police officer of the area directed the shopkeepers to close the shop or face music.

Some pedestrians were seen on the streets in the historic Lal Chowk, the nerve centre of the summer capital and Budshah chowk.

Heavy deployment was made in the Maisuma area, where the headquarters of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front is located.

People in the downtown alleged that they were not being allowed to purchase household essentials by the security forces deployed in strength since early this morning.

Shops and business establishments in the city and its outskirts remained closed and traffic was off the road.

Government offices, which were closed due to one-day strike by 5 lakh employees in support of their demands yesterday, wore a deserted look. Educational institions and banks also remained closed.

It was not however, immediately clear why the undeclared curfew was imposed by the authorities since there was no call by separatists.

The Coordination Committee (CC), spearheading the anti poll agitation in Kashmir, had appealed people to hold demonstrations after Friday prayers in their respective areas as per the past practice.


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