M A I N   N E W S

Curfew lifted, but Valley tense
Azhar Qadri
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, February 16
Curfew was lifted from Kashmir Valley on Saturday, a week after restrictions were imposed following hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.

Normal life, however, remained affected in the wake of bandh called by hardline Hurriyat Conference and fresh protests that broke out after restrictions were lifted.

The heavy deployment of police was removed from roads and streets. Internet services were also restored last evening.

Many shops in the uptown Srinagar and its outskirts opened after a long gap as cars and small passenger cabs returned to roads.

The main markets around the city, including the Lal Chowk, its adjoining commercial centres, however, remained close in response to Hurriyat’s bandh call.

Syed Ali Geelani-led group has called for a two-day shutdown till Sunday to protest against the hanging of Guru. The shutdown was more prominent in north Kashmir, including Baramulla, which is Guru’s home-district.

Kashmir has been on the edge and under stringent restrictions for the past one week since Guru was hanged.

Protests also erupted in downtown Srinagar. Several hundred slogan-shouting youth were intercepted by the police and paramilitary forces near Kawdara which triggered stone-pelting, said eyewitnesses. Demonstrations were witnessed in Maisuma and Koker Bazaar areas in central Srinagar, Bemina and the adjoining Budgam district.

In south Kashmir, protests broke out at several locations in Anantnag and Pulwama districts. In north Kashmir’s Baramulla district, a group of protesters hurled stones at police vehicles near Tehsil Point, local residents said.

A police spokesman said incidents of stone throwing were witnessed in Srinagar, Anantnag, Baramulla, Sopore and Vilgam village near Handwara in Kupwara district. 

53 trouble-mongers held: Police

As many as 53 protesters have been arrested from across the Valley, said a police spokesman. “The police has arrested 53 stone-pelters, miscreants and trouble-mongers from various districts of the Valley,” the spokesman said. While 13 are from Srinagar, 15 from Sopore, eight each from Baramulla and Anantnag, six from Budgam and three from Pulwama, said the spokesman.





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