Srinagar: Government on Tuesday imposed curbs to foil the Hurriyat Conference (G) march to Kupwara district, while curfew and restrictions coupled with a shutdown call paralyzed life across Srinagar and other major towns and districts of the Valley.
In its latest protest programme issued last week, Hurriyat Conference led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani had called for a complete shutdown on Tuesday followed by a march to the frontier district of Kupwara in North Kashmir. However, to scuttle the march, government imposed strict curfew and restrictions across the Valley.
Press Bureau of India correspondent from North Kashmir said that all the three districts were placed under curfew and strict restrictions in a bid to foil the proposed march.
In Kupwara, the venue of Hurriyat march, curfew was strictly enforced in almost all the areas of the district to prevent the people from assembling in the main town and staged pro-freedom and anti-India demonstrations. CRPF troops and police were heavily deployed in main town, Trehgam, Bumhama, Kulangam, Kralpora. Many areas of Handwara town also reeled under curfew.
In neighboring Baramulla district, CRPF and police had erected barricades and laid spools of barbed wire at Seelu on the Sopore-Kupwara and Watergam along the Baramulla-Kupwara highway to stop the people from marching to the district.
Despite curfew and restrictions, groups of youth from Seelu, Sopore tried to march to the frontier district. However, troops and police heavily deployed along the highway swung into action to disperse the marchers. Forces also fired several shots in air when angry protesters hurled stones and rocks on them. The ding-dong lashes continued for some time. However, no reports of any injury were received.
Harsh restrictions were also clamped in Palhalan area of the district.
In Srinagar, the capital city, authoritiesâ€™ enforced curfew in almost all the areas of the old city in view of the â€˜Kupwara Chaloâ€™ march today. Uptown and civil lines, however, was free from restrictions.
Hundreds of paramilitary CRPF and police, equipped with riot gear and automatic rifles had laid a siege around Nowhatta, Gojwara, Saraf Kadal, Kawdara, Nawa Kadal, Nawab Bazar, Safa Kadal, Eidgah and other areas of the old city.
However, as the day progressed curfew was lifted from several areas of the old city.
Minor clashes broke out between protesters and the forces near Guru Bazar, Shaheed Gunj. However, the forces chased away the youth who were hurling stones amidst chants of pro-freedom and anti-India.
Meanwhile, all shops, offices, banks, petrol pumps, business establishments and government offices across the city remained closed, while transport was off the roads today due to government curbs and Hurriyat called strike. Few educational institutes, however remained open with thin attendance.