Fearing massive protests over an anti-Islam movie that puts the Prophet Mohammad in "bad light", the Jammu and Kashmir government on Friday snapped cellular, Internet services and imposed curfew-like restrictions in volatile parts of the Valley to keep protesters at bay. Violent clashes, however, broke out in several parts of Kashmir.
The government's move came an hour before Friday prayers to ensure social networking sites, like Facebook and Twitter, are not used to organise massive street protests. Srinagar and south Kashmir's Anantnag district faced ban on cellular services till late in the afternoon. However, the government claims the ban was imposed to stop any viewing of the movie.
Since last Friday, Kashmir has witnessed spontaneous protests, stoked by the film. "If necessary, the fully qualified domain names shall be blocked on Youtube, Facebook, etc.," a government spokesperson said.
The authorities had also directed schools and colleges to remain closed on Friday.
In another measure, the government imposed an "undeclared curfew" in old parts of Srinagar and several other volatile districts. Such curfews were last seen during the 2010 unrest in the Valley when curfew-like restrictions were imposed without annoucement on the state-run radio and television.
"The government should have declared a curfew instead of harassing people on the streets and disallowing movement of traffic," said Rayees Qureshi, a resident of Zaina Kadal.