Undeclared curfew in parts of Srinagar ahead of poll

December 22nd, 2008 - 3:22 pm ICT by IANS  

Srinagar, Dec 22 (IANS) Curfew-like restrictions have been imposed in parts of the old city in Srinagar to scuttle anti-poll protests during Wednesday’s balloting in Srinagar for the seventh and final phase of Jammu and Kashmir assembly elections.The curfew like restrictions have been imposed in areas falling under the Nowhatta police station.

Tension was high in the old city Monday a day after anti-poll protests during which the police guards of an independent candidate were roughed up by an unruly mob in Rajouri Kadal locality. The mob had also snatched an automatic rifle from one of the police guards of the candidate and smashed the vehicle in which the cops were travelling.

Police and paramilitary reinforcements were rushed to the spot and two police guards admitted to hospital in serious condition.

“No movement is being allowed in the area and streets have been blocked by concertina wire coils. There is massive deployment of police and paramilitary in the Nowhatta and adjoining localities,” said Muhammad Ayub, a resident of Gojiwara locality.

The separatists’ joint coordination committee has called for a poll boycott in Srinagar and a march to the city centre, Lal Chowk, on Wednesday.

The authorities have a difficult task on hand - to ensure voters are able to move out to exercise their rights and at the same time tackle the situation.

“We have made arrangements to ensure peaceful poll. A strategy has been finalised to ensure things stay calm,” a senior police officer said.

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