Curfew imposed in Srinagar, FIR against Mirwaiz (Lead)

September 12th, 2010 - 12:41 pm ICT by IANS  

Srinagar, Sep 12 (IANS) Indefinite curfew was imposed in Srinagar and five other towns in Kashmir valley Sunday, a day after the city saw widespread violence following Eid prayers. An FIR was registered against moderate separatist leader Mirwaiz Umer Farooq for inciting violence, officials said.
A senior police official said imposition of curfew had become necessary in the wake of the massive violence that followed a separatist march in Srinagar Saturday that was led by the Mirwaiz, chairman of the moderate Hurriyat group, and Muhammad Yasin Malik, chairman of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front.

“The curfew shall continue indefinitely and we are monitoring the situation closely,” he said.

“Curfew would be reviewed after a fresh appraisal of the law and order situation is made,” the officer added.

An unruly mob defied curfew restrictions in the morning and resorted to heavy stone pelting on the police and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel in Soura area of the city, injuring a police official.

“A deputy superintendent of police was injured in the stone pelting in Soura. Security forces used batons and tear smoke canisters to enforce curfew there,” a police official said.

A first information report (FIR) has been registered against the Mirwaiz for “inciting violence here yesterday”, the officer said.

Asked whether the Mirwaiz would be arrested, he said: “The law will take its own course and whatever is necessary will be done.”

Indefinite curfew was also imposed in north Kashmir Baramulla and Sopore towns and south Kashmir Anantnag, Pulwama and Bijbehara towns.

Srinagar saw unprecedented violence Saturday after mass Eid prayers as hundreds of youth shouted pro-freedom slogans and attacked police and government buildings.

As the prayers ended at the famed Sufi shrine of Hazratbal Saturday morning, thousands led by the Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik marched to the city centre Lal Chowk. Some among the crowd indulged in arson attacks.

While the police and paramilitary personnel refrained from firing at the mobs so as not to kill civilians, the crowds went on an arson spree, starting right from the Hazratbal shrine where they set afire police barracks within the complex apart from a police vehicle.

Later, smaller groups torched the building of the state electricity department and offices of the Crime Branch of the Jammu and Kashmir Police.

Police stations were also attacked by frenzied mobs in north Kashmir Sopore and Kunzer towns, and south Kashmir Pulwama and Anantnag towns.

In Srinagar and other towns of the valley, authorities had not imposed curfew or restrictions Saturday to allow people to offer Eid prayers and celebrate the festival.

Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has blamed Mirwaiz Umer Farooq for inciting violence on Eid and said the separatist leader had assured the authorities that the protest march led by him in the city would be peaceful.

Police and CRPF personnel were deployed in large numbers in the city to ensure that curfew is strictly enforced.

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