Strict curfew after dusk in Kashmir makes life more difficult

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Srinagar:"Bhago yahan se" (go away from here)–a voice suddenly booms from a dark corner of a street in curfew-bound Srinagar as dusk falls.

This is the voice of a para-military personnel behind a concertina wire who tries to prevent movement of people on the main road here and is unwilling to listen to anyone even if one is carrying a curfew pass or has some emergency.

Srinagar like any other part of Kashmir is witnessing the longest spell of curfew since July 8 when unrest broke out in the Valley.

"This has become a daily routine. To walk just across the chowk, which is only 500 metres away, I have to take a detour of nearly two kilometres through narrow lanes and by-lanes to reach my aunt's place," says Mushtaq Mir, a resident of Rainawari locality in downtown city.

 

Mir is carrying some medicines for his aunt who has been suffering from age-related ailments.

Changing his path, Mir, accompanied by his wife, finally chose another route to reach his destination but not before a group of young boys try to block his way as he was sneaking from by-lanes.

Armed with 'lathis', stones and bottles filled with petrol and kerosene, youngsters will soon inquire every single detail from you and verify everything before letting you go, he said.

 

"The security forces at least give you a chance to retreat while with youngsters that option is also not available and you are allowed to cross only after every detail has been verified," says his wife.

 

This broadly is the experience of an average Kashmiri in the Valley today who is caught between security forces and agitating youths with no end to this misery in sight.
 

Many such harrowing experiences of anguished residents were shared with a PTI correspondent on a quick round of the city.
 

"We are not inhuman but we have to act tough as a preventive measure. In case of a medical emergency, we take care and ensure that the patient reaches the hospital," says a middle-rung paramilitary officer deployed at Rainawari chowk, who spoke on the condition of anonymity..

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