Downtown continues under police siege, spontaneous shutdown cripples life in Valley

Day 2: Kashmir remains on boil over civilian killing  Curfew to remain in force in old city today: Admin
*  No Friday prayers in historic Jamia Masjid
*  Geelani, Mirwaiz, other separatists remain caged
*  Clashes took place at many places in Valley
*  Ambulance driver injured in pelting in B’pora: Police
*  Only District Magistrate can bail out detained youth: IGP

Kashmir continues to be on boil over the killing of 24-year-old youth Bashir Ahmad Bhat in CRPF firing in Nawa Kadal area in Srinagar with authorities imposing curfew and tough restrictions in downtown Srinagar for second consecutive day to prevent protests while spontaneous shutdown crippled life across the Valley.
Authorities for the second day in succession imposed tough curfew in Maharjgunj, Fateh Kadel, Bohri kadal, Nawa Kadal, Nowhatta, Rainawari and other parts of the downtown.
Large numbers of police and CRPF men were deployed in the downtown areas to enforce curfew. The cops had placed concertina wires and armoured vehicles on the road to restrict movement of people.
The residents of Nowhatta alleged that they were not allowed to venture out and offer Friday prayers.
They said due to clampdown, no Friday prayer was offered in historic Jamia Masjid.
The chief cleric of Jamia Masjid, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, who is also chairman of Hurriyat Conference (M) remained under house arrest.
Tough restrictions were also enforced in Nawa Kadal and its adjoining areas. The relatives of the deceased youth were not allowed to visit the house of deceased to express solidarity with the bereaved family.
An official spokesman said curfew was imposed today as a preventive measure as there were apprehensions of clashes. “We enforced curfew to maintain law and order and prevent clashes”.
He said curfew will remain continue in areas of five police stations in downtown tomorrow also.
The official said administration is keeping a close watch on the situation.
In uptown Srinagar and other parts of the Valley, spontaneous strike crippled the Valley. The shops, business establishments, petrol pumps and educational institutions remained closed while public transport was off the roads. The attendance in government offices and banks remained thin.
The strike was spontaneous as no separatist group had called for the shutdown today.
Protests erupted in Kangan area of Ganderbal district after Friday prayers. Chanting anti-government and pro-freedom slogans, the protestors were demanding action against the CRPF men involved in killing of youth in Nawa Kadal area on Srinagar on Wednesday. The protestors later dispersed off peacefully.
CRPF had fired on a group of youth at Nawa Kadal area on Wednesday evening, killing a youth Bashir Ahmad and injuring five others including a woman.
In North Kashmir’s Bandipora district, clashes erupted between youth and cops at Papchan area after people took out a procession after Friday prayers. The police and CRPF men fired tear smoke shells and used pepper gas to disperse the stone pelting youth. Four persons sustained injuries in the clashes.
Stone pelting was also reported from Sopore chowk in Baramulla district. The clashes continued for some time.
Palhallan area in Baramulla district also remained tense and large number of police and CRPF men remained deployed in the area throughout the day. Youth clashed with the cops in the area and the clashes continued for some time.
Stray incidents of stone pelting were also reported from Langate and Trehgam areas of Kupwara district.
The residents of Langate and Trehgam alleged that after the clashes, cops barged into the residential houses and smashed the windowpanes and beat the inmates.
The spontaneous shutdown was also observed in South Kashmir. The stone pelting incidents took place at Lal Chowk, Anantnag after Friday prayers. The stone pelting incidents were also reported from Qoimoh, Kulgam and Qazigund.
“The overall situation in South Kashmir remained peaceful,” DIG South Kashmir Vijay Kumar told Rising Kashmir.
He said they did not impose restrictions but deployed the cops on the roads.
Meanwhile, over 500 youth arrested in Kashmir ahead of Lok Sabha polls in Srinagar are still under arrest.
“They will continue to remain under detention. They were detained for preventive measures before LS polls in Srinagar but now it is the work of executive magistrate to look into the matter and bail them out,”  IGP Kashmir Abdul Gani Mir told Rising Kashmir.
He said the detainees cannot be released unless District Magistrate bails them out.
The youth were arrested by police from different parts of central and north Kashmir ahead of April 30 vote in Srinagar-Budgam parliamentary seat.
Meanwhile, Hurriyat conference (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani, Hurriyat (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq remained under house arrest while Hurriyat (JK) leader Shabir Shah and JKLF chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik and other separatist leaders and activists continue to remain under detention.
An official spokesman said the detained leaders and youth would remain caged till situation improves in Srinagar and other parts of the Valley.
Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Shailendra Kumar said he was not aware about the detainees and their bails.
“I have no idea regarding it,” he said. Situation normal: Police
A police spokesman said situation remained normal throughout the valley on Friday.
“Some isolated stone pelting incidents were reported from Gulshan Chowk and Naid Khai in Bandipora and Khanpora in Baramulla,” he said.
He said miscreants pelted upon an ambulance at Sheikh Mohalla Bandipora, causing injuries to the ambulance driver Javed Ahmad Mir and damage to the ambulance.

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