Restrictions in Kashmir to prevent separatist agitationsDecember 5th, 2008 - 3:41 pm ICT by IANS
Srinagar, Dec 5 (IANS) Authorities imposed strict restrictions across the Kashmir valley Friday to prevent separatist protests and rallies.The joint co-ordination committee of both the factions of the Hurriyat had asked people to stage protests and observe a total shutdown across the Valley after the Friday prayers today.
Despite today being the last Friday before the Muslim festival of Eid-ul-Azha, which is next Tuesday and people having a lot of shopping to do, markets remained closed here and streets wore a deserted look as contingents of paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and the local police were deployed in strength to enforce the restrictions.
There is a public holiday in Jammu and Kashmir today marking the birth anniversary of the founder of National Conference, the late Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah.
Reports from all other major cities and towns of the Valley also said authorities had imposed strict restrictions there as well.
“It is the duty of the police to protect the lives of the people. We shall not allow anybody to breach the law and order and create problems for the common man,” B. Srinivas, inspector general of police (Kashmir zone) told IANS.
He said despite the fact that the people needed to complete their shopping for the festival, separatists had planned to create law and order problems in the city today.
“We shall not allow some hooligan elements to hijack either the festivities of the Eid or the commercial activities in the cities and towns”, Srinivas said, adding they had ensured that people were freely allowed to go to the Jamia Mosque in old city to offer the Friday prayers and also at all other mosques in the city and elsewhere in the valley.
“We have also issued clear instructions that devotees going to the Khankah Moula mosque in the old city area where an Urs is being held be allowed to carry on. The restrictions are to prevent the miscreants and these are not against the common man or the devotees offering prayers,” he stressed.