Curfew imposed on Srinagar despite withdrawal of strike

While Geelani had appealed to people to resume normal activities on Wednesday after days of curfew and strike, the state government imposed curfew on Tuesday night that lasted until 3 pm in Civil Lines area of Srinagar and 5 pm in the old city.

The curfew created widespread dismay amongst people eagerly expecting the break.
“We thought there won’t be any curfew on Wednesday, as there wasn’t any strike call from Geelani. But we were put to hardship till 3 pm,” said Mohammad Ehsan, a shopkeeper in the city.  Relaxation of the curfew brought traffic to the roads and crowds to the market place, bringing normal life back on the streets since Eid. People used the opportunity to stock up essential commodities and medicines amongst other items. However, a large number of shops in some sensitive areas of old Srinagar remained closed.

“Imposition of curfew on a day when we had not announced strike action amounts to acceptance of defeat by the state government,” said Syed Ali Shah Geelani.
He announced changes to the protest calendar, according to which there would be no strike on Thursday and Friday when people have been asked to carry on with normal activities. Geelani had earlier announced strike for four days from Thursday till Sunday.  A police official said imposition of curfew was a precautionary measure to avoid trouble. “Whenever we feel there is an apprehension of law and order problem, curfew is being imposed,” the official, Shafiq Ahmad, said.

Last week, the army, police and civil administration had formulated a strategy to counter Geelani’s protest programme and restore normalcy  in Kashmir. Meanwhile, one of the youths injured in police firing on Sep 13 at Humhama, Sajjad Ahmad Pandit, died on Wednesday, increasing the number of deaths due to firing by police and security forces to 108 since June 11. While 105 were killed in Kashmir, three fell victims to the guns in Jammu.
DH News Service

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