Afzal Guru Anniversary: Curfew-like restrictions in Srinagar

Srinagar:  Curfew-like restrictions have been imposed in downtown and some other parts of the summer capital, Srinagar, Thursday following strike called by separatists on the fourth death anniversary of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.

Police said restrictions under section 144 CrPC have been imposed in the downtown, besides some parts of civil lines since early this morning to maintain law and order.

However, the situation on the ground was totally different as people were told that curfew has been imposed and directed to remain indoor by the security forces and state police who have closed main roads with barbed wire or by parking bullet proof vehicles in the middle.

Both the factions of the Hurriyat Conference (HC) and Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), spearheading the agitation for the past six months, demanding right to self determination, had called for a general strike today, on death anniversary of Guru,who was hanged to death in Delhi’s Tihar jail and later buried there. They are demanding his body to be reburied in Kashmir.

Large number of security forces and state police personnel, wearing bullet proof jackets and headgear and holding automatic weapons and lathis besides shields in their hands have been deployed in the entire down town since early this morning.

The main gates of historic Jamia Masjid were again locked. Large number of security forces remained deployed in the Jamia market and nobody was being allowed to enter the area. 

Majority downtown areas saw entire Nallahmar road from Khanyar to Parimpora closed by the security forces who were directing people to remain indoors. People living on both sides of the Nallahmar road alleged that even the milkmen and vegetable vendors were not allowed to enter these area from outskirts.

Security forces had closed main roads with barbed wire at Bulbul Lankar, Nawa Kadal, Kawdra and Rajouri Kadal since early this morning to prevent any demonstration.

All roads leading to Maisuma, stronghold of JKLF, in the heart of the city were closed with barbed wire. Security forces and state police personnel remained deployed in strength to prevent any demonstration. 

Security forces had closed road with barbed wire at Budshah Chowk, Gaw Kadal and Red cross road. Similarly Haji Masjid road had also been closed.

The Amira Kadal bridge, connecting Hari Singh High Street (HSHS) with historic Lal Chowk had also been closed and people were being directed to take Budshah Chowk to reach civil lines.

However, there were no restriction in Lal  Chowk, the nerve centre of the summer capital, where shops and business establishments remained closed and traffic was off the road.

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