Pillai told a private channel that curfew in the Valley has been lifted from Friday evening to Saturday evening on account of the Islamic festival of Shab-e-Meraj, while state government said it was indefinite.
Meanwhile, confusion prevailed on the streets as people who ventured out after listening to the Home Secretary’s announcement were ordered to get back in by the police. The police even made loud speaker announcement that the curfew was not relaxed, while the CRPF personnel had to resort to firing in the air to disperse demonstrating youth in the old city.
The police claimed that they had not been informed of the curfew relaxation.
An official of the state government said Mufti Azaam Bashir-ud-Din, the head cleric of Srinagar, had on Friday appealed to the government to relax the curfew on the festival.
The police and CRPF have also mounted a hunt to arrest those responsible for the recent protests. Already, about 65 of them have been brought into custody. They have also arrested Shabir Ahmad Wani at Narabal on the outskirts of Srinagar, whose telephonic conversation with one Ghulam Ahmed Dar was recorded by the police. Shabir was talking about instigating violence in Kashmir and getting at least 10 to 15 more people killed in processions.
Friday prayers were suspended, while people faced shortage of essential commodities. The body of an infant, who died in a hospital on Thursday, could not be taken to his village in Northern Kashmir due to the curfew and lack of ambulance service.