On Zahid’s Fateha, Curfew Shuts Anantnag, Bijbehara

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Situation in Anantnag remained ‘absolutely normal’: IGP

ANANTNAG: For the fourth consecutive day Thursday, South Kashmir’s principal town remained tense as authorities imposed curfew to curb protests by people against the murder of Zahid Rasool Bhat.

Police and CRPF personnel, armed with riot gear, were deployed in major areas all thorough the day to impose curfew and foil attempts by youth to take protests.

Reports said that youth some agitated youth tried to take protests in Anantnag and Bijebhara towns, but the government forces dispersed them.

The district has erupted with protests for three consecutive days after Bhat and his driver Showkat Ahmad were attacked with petrol bombs and set ablaze by a Hindu mob in Udhampur town on October 9.

Bhat succumbed to his critical burn injuries on October 18 at Safdargunj Hospital in New Delhi, while Showkat is reported to be recuperating.

Relatives of Zahid said that police and CRPF did not even allow mourners to visit the house of the victim’s family on Rasm-e-Chaharum.

“Police is not allowing the relatives, friends and other mourners to visit the house to offer prayers and condolences with the family,” Moulvi Ashraf said.

He said that he sent some students from his Darasgah to the house of Zahid “but police allowed only few of them.”

Meanwhile, clashes between forces and protesters were reported from various parts of the Anantnag town and also Bijbehera soon after the deployments were lifted in the evening. At KP near Oxford School, unidentified persons attacked a police party with a petrol bomb. However no policeman was injured. A protest was also reported from Devsar area of Kulgam district.

Train services in the Valley and traffic on Srinagar-Jammu highway were also suspended.

The police also detained Syed Ali Geelani on Thursday morning when he tried to visit the victim’s family in south Kashmir. Geelani had called for ‘Islamabad Chalo’ on Thursday.

Police had placed barbed wires at a number of roads to impose the curfew and restrict movement of protesters.

According to Inspector General of Police Javaid Mujtaba Gillani the situation in Anantnag remained “absolutely normal”.

Gillani denied the accusations by the relatives that police did not allow the mourners to join Rasme- chaharum of their slain son.

“We allowed those people who wanted to go to Zahid’s family to offer condolences,” he said. 

The District Administration has decided to continue curfew-life restrictions in the Anantnag on Friday in view of protest call.

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