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Uneasy calm in Kashmir


Srinagar, Apr 19: An uneasy calm on Sunday prevailed in Kashmir where authorities have kept several separatists including Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mirwaiz Umer Farooq under house arrest to foil their plans of holding protests against the killing of a teenager in Budgam district.

While Mirwaiz was placed under house arrest yesterday morning, Geelani remained under house arrest for the third consecutive day, police officials said.


They said a posse of police personnel has been posted outside the residences of these separatist leaders to prevent them from leading protests at Residency Road here in the afternoon.

Suhail Ahmad Sofi, a teenager, was killed yesterday while two other youth were injured when security forces fired upon demonstrators at Narbal in Budgam as they were protesting against the killing of two youth in an army operation in Tral area of Pulwama district on Monday.

Both Mirwaiz and Geelani had called for a shutdown in Budgam district against Sofi's killing. Geelani appealed to separatist leaders to assemble at Pratap Park in Lal Chowk today at 2 PM to register their protest.

Narbal continues to remain tense but peaceful as security forces have been deployed in large numbers to control the situation. Two policemen including an officer have been arrested arrested in connection with Sofi's killing while the SHO of the concerned police station has been attached for "lack of supervision".

Although the separatist have not called for strike in the summer capital, most of the shops in and around Lal Chowk remained shut fearing law and order problems.

The weekly flea market was also affected due to the situation. Some vendors had put up their stalls in the morning but rainfall an hour before noon forced them away.

Meanwhile, Director General of Police K Rajendra Kumar convened a high level meeting of Police, CRPF and intelligence officers late last night to take stock of the law and order situation in the Valley, a police spokesman said today.

He said the DGP was briefed by officers about current law and order and security situation. He was also given a detailed briefing about the Narbal incident.

Kumar emphasized that justice be delivered to the victim family, taking into account the complete facts of the incident, the spokesman said.

He expressed sorrow over the loss of precious human life and conveyed his sympathies to the bereaved family, the spokesman said.

The DGP directed the officers present in the meeting to ensure that such incidents are not repeated in the future, he said.

He enjoined upon the officers to convey to the rank and file that they should strictly adhere to laid down Standard Operation Procedures (SOPs) while dealing with law and order situations.

The meeting also discussed the measures to be taken to ensure that law and order is maintained and at the same time situations should not be allowed to develop to a level which has a negative fallout, the spokesman said.

He said the DGP asked all the forces to work with utmost zeal and professionalism to ensure that peaceful situation prevails.

He said nobody will be allowed to derail the peaceful atmosphere and law will take its own course in all such matters, the spokesman said.


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