Curfew re-imposed in Kupwara after clashes

Curfew re-imposed in Kupwara after clashes

Normalcy returns to other parts of Valley

Curfew  re-imposed in Kupwara after clashes

 Clashes erupted in north Kashmir’s Kupwara and Handwara towns immediately after the curfew was relaxed on Monday forcing authorities to re-impose the restrictions for an indefinite period.

Reports said that as soon the curfew was relaxed in Handwara and its adjoining towns, hundreds of youth chanting pro-freedom slogans hit the streets and pelted stones at security forces. However, police and paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel foiled their attempts.

Reports said security forces used teargas shells to disperse the youths who staged demonstrations against the killings.

A police official said nobody was allowed to move ahead and the curfew was re-imposed in the area for an indefinite period. To contain the situation in the twin towns of Handwara and Kupwara, additional security forces have been deployed while exit and entrance points to these places were closed with barbed wire, to foil fresh protests, he added.

Officials said they have not decided when to lift the curfew. “We will assess the situation tomorrow (Tuesday) and take a call,” Deputy Commissioner Kupwara, Kumar Rajiv Ranjan said.

The areas were put under curfew after the Army killed four persons protesting the reported molestation of a girl by a soldier in Handwara town last Tuesday. One youth was killed in the subsequent police action in Kupwara while scores were injured in clashes that continued in these areas since then.

Reports said that on the Kupwara-Srinagar highway, people have erected barricades to stop movement of traffic.

While students of Kashmir University in Srinagar and Islamic University of Science and Technology (IUST) in Awantipora held demonstrations on Monday against civilian killings, normalcy returned to other parts of the Kashmir Valley. The protesting students, witnesses said, were shouting slogans against the police, army and the government. Authorities also lifted restriction on mobile Internet services in the morning. Internet services from various service providers were suspended since Wednesday night.

The Valley was on the edge following the civilian killings in Handwara and Kupwara. The cycle of violence stopped on Saturday and restrictions on movement of people in old Srinagar areas and other volatiles towns were lifted on Sunday.

An inquiry is on to look into the Handwara killings and a report will be submitted within 30 days.

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