Sixty protestors taken into custody in Srinagar

July 9th, 2010 - 10:12 pm ICT by ANI  

Srinagar, July 9 (ANI): At least sixty suspected separatist activists were arrested by the Jammu and Kashmir police and the paramilitary forces during overnight raids even as the State Government was considering a plan to lift curfew imposed over the last three days.

The police reportedly fired tear gas to disperse nearly 4,000 protestors in Srinagar’s Baramulla town today, who were raising slogans such as: “India go back. We want freedom.”

It has been reported that the authorities did not permit the residents to enter the main mosques in Srinagar or other major towns fearing that the crowds could turn violent.

The police, however, did not stop the residents from gathering at smaller mosques.

Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has said that he would not quit, asserting that the recent developments have “dented” the credibility of his Government and his own image.

“Stone-pelting incidents and strikes in the Valley are “symptoms of a wider problem”, which is that people on both sides of Line of Control have been fed on a “diet” that “there is a problem in Jammu and Kashmir that needs to be resolved,” Abdullah told an english magazine.

“Perhaps some of my so-called friends might have thought that I would run away and leave the field for them to take advantage. But I am not a weak person. I am here to deliver and would do my best,” he added.

Omar Abdullah will convene an all party meeting on Monday to discuss the prevailing situation in the Kashmir Valley, where the army has been staging flag marches to restore law and order.

The decision to hold an all-party meeting is part of Abdullah’s initiative to reach out to all mainstream political parties.

Abdullah wants to seek their co-operation to help bring the situation to normal.

Meanwhile, an indefinite curfew remains in place for the third consecutive day in all areas of Srinagar city, Sopur, Ganderbal, Handwara, Pulwama, Kakpora and some towns along the Srinagar-Jammu highway.

According to sources, restrictions have been imposed in other towns like Varmul, Qazigund, Bijbehara, Kangan as well said.

A decision about relaxing the curfew would be taken after reviewing the situation later,” sources added.

On Wednesday, Union Home Secretary GK Pillai met Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and reviewed the overall law and order situation.

Pillai assured Abdullah of the Centre’s complete support in maintaining peace in the Valley.

The army was deployed in on Srinagar on Tuesday night following violent protests, which left three persons dead and over 70 injured.

Seventeen columns of army soldiers conducted flag marches on Wednesday, following widespread violence in the Batmaloo and Maisuma localities.

The decision to deploy the Army was taken after Omar Abdullah made a formal request to the Central Government for its help in enforcing curfew and maintaining law and order in Srinagar.

The situation in the valley has been tense over the past few weeks due to repeated clashes between protestors and security forces. (ANI)

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