Srinagar: While city centre Lal Chowk and its adjoining areas including Maisuma reeled under an undeclared restricions, clamped to foil separatist leaders bid to hold funeral prayers in absentia for Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front supreme leader Amanullah Khan and also the possible eruption of protests, massive traffic jams were witnessed in cityskirts, putting people to terrible inconvenience while the district administration was caught napping.
The curbs triggered chaos on the Srinagar roads after police and paramilitary forces who were deployed in strength prevented people from traversing areas under siege, including the City centre Lal Chowk.
In absence of any public notification on restrictions, people especially traders woke up to a curfew-like situation. And as the people started moving towards Lal Chowk for business and other purposes, chaos started to swell while the Traffic police and the civil administration started groping for solutions in futility.
The long unending gridlocks stretching over miles near Batamaloo, HMT and other areas haunted people till late afternoon while many missed their days assignments.
School and college going students studying in educational institutions located in and around city centre Lal Chowk were seen helpless while majority of the students returned back their houses without attending their schools.
It was the responsibility of the administration to inform people before hand about the restrictions. One fails to understand why those at the helm of affairs are not being questioned and made accountable for the inconveniences they cause to common people, a trader from Lal Chowk told CNS.
Many flyers, including tourists had a tough time in reaching the airport. We had parked out vehicle in Lal Chowk and were supposed to leave for Airport. But Police had laid concertina wire near Amira Kadal to prevent the movement of the people. After repeated pleas, we were allowed to take Budshah chowk route, said a tourist from Gujrat.
A group of people mostly traders were literally seen begging before the police to let them cross the barricade near Regal Chowk to reach their shops located at Abi Guzar. This is simply shameful. It is better to relax at home than to beg before men in khaki who dont listen to anyone, said a commuter.
The traffic police blamed the district administration for the mess. There was no prior intimation about the restrictions otherwise we would have gone for timely diversions, said a Traffic Police official.
Amid restrictions, police swung into action and detained many separatist leaders to restrict them from participating in funeral prayers in absentia for JKLF departed leader Amanullah Khan. JKLF had urged people to assemble at Lal Chowk for the funeral prayers. Muhammad Yasin Malik and Javaid Ahmed Mir were detained early morning and lodged in police station Kothibagh while Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was placed under house arrest. In the afternoon, scores of JKLF activists and leaders including Noor Muhammad Kalwal, Advocate Bashir Ahmed Bhat assembled near Basantbagh Chowk to offer funeral prayers in absentia. However, police didnt allow them and detained number of JKLF leaders. (CNS)
Be Part of Quality Journalism
Quality journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce and despite all the hardships we still do it. Our reporters and editors are working overtime in Kashmir and beyond to cover what you care about, break big stories, and expose injustices that can change lives. Today more people are reading Kashmir Observer than ever, but only a handful are paying while advertising revenues are falling fast.