Curfew-like restrictions in Srinagar following terror alert

November 21st, 2008 - 12:29 pm ICT by IANS  

Srinagar, Nov 21 (IANS) Curfew-like restrictions were clamped in Srinagar Friday following a militant attack in a north Kashmir town and intelligence reports warning of a similar strike in the state’s summer capital ahead of the second phase of assembly polls, scheduled Sunday.”We have reports of terrorists planning a major strike somewhere in the city and in order to protect the lives of the civilians we have imposed restrictions,” B. Srinivas, inspector general of police (Kashmir zone), told IANS here.

“The overwhelming participation of the people in the free and fair polls on Nov 17 in Sonawari, Bandipora and Gurez constituencies of the Valley seems to have unnerved them.”

The first phase of polling took place Nov 17.

“We have also advised senior political leaders to be more careful during their public meetings and their security is being further tightened,” Srinivas added.

The campaign in two constituencies of Ganderbal and Kangan, which go to polls Sunday, comes to a close Friday evening. The constituencies are adjacent to Srinagar.

All educational institutions, markets, government offices and banks here remained closed and public and private transport were also off the roads in view of the restrictions imposed. There was heavy deployment of paramilitary and police personnel.

Separatist guerrillas had carried out an attack late Thursday night in north Kashmir’s Sopore town, firing four rifle grenades at the election office there and one at the police station, critically injuring the station house officer (SHO).

Shafeeq Ahmad, the SHO of Sopore police station, was moved in a critical condition to Srinagar and was admitted to the base hospital in the headquarters of the army’s 15 corps.

“His condition is reported to be stable now,” informed sources said here.

In the attack at the office of the sub-divisional magistrate, who is the returning officer for Sopore constituency that goes to polls in the fourth phase of elections Dec 7, militants fired four rifle grenades, smashing the window panes and shattering the furniture inside.

“Miraculously, nobody was injured in the strike even though officials connected with the conduct of elections were still working inside when the attack took place,” a poll official said over telephone.

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