Protests, security restrictions in tense Srinagar

February 27th, 2009 - 6:18 pm ICT by IANS  

Srinagar, Feb 27 (IANS) Protests erupted in parts of Srinagar Friday despite curfew-like restrictions imposed in the city in the wake of the mysterious death of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chief Yasin Malik’s kin.
Authorities had imposed restrictions in Srinagar and south Kashmir’s Anantnag town to foil separatist attempts to hold protests after Friday prayers, officials said.

Paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and police personnel were deployed in heavy strength across the summer capital to maintain law and order. In fact, Friday prayers couldn’t be offered at the historic Jamia Masjid.

People offered prayers in local mosques in the old city, which has been tense since early this week following the alleged killing of two youths by troops of the army’s 22 Rashtriya Rifles (RR) in Bumai village near Sopore town last week and the Malik’s relative’s death Tuesday.

But despite the restrictions, protests erupted in Maisuma, Safakadal and Nawakadal localities here, prompting police and CRPF to use tear gas and batons to disperse the protestors.

The authorities moved fresh reinforcements to Maisuma, where hundreds joined the ‘fateha ceremony’ (prayers after death) of Malik’s relative.

In north Kashmir’s Sopore town, angry youth held protests after Friday prayers against the killing of the two youth.

Police resorted to baton charge to disperse the mob shouting pro-independence and anti-India slogans.

A police official said that restrictions were imposed in the city in view of the prevailing tense situation. He added that barring a few incidents, the day passed off peacefully.

The separatist Hurriyat Conference had called for protests Friday against the recent killings.

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