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HindustanTimes Thu,21 Aug 2014

After 15-day curfew, Shopian limps back to normalcy

Peerzada Ashiq , Hindustan Times  Srinagar, September 22, 2013
First Published: 13:08 IST(22/9/2013) | Last Updated: 20:13 IST(22/9/2013)

South Kashmir's Shopian district witnessed a semblance of normalcy on Sunday. First time since four youths were killed on September 7, there was no curfew or restrictions and no incident of stone pelting.

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"There were no reports of violence on Sunday. It was completely peaceful. The situation in the Gagran area too was normal," superintendent of police (SP) Mumtaz Khan told the Hindustan Times.

It was in the Gagran area of Shopian, 55 km south of Srinagar, where four youths, including a militant, were killed on September 7. The killings came just hours ahead of music maestro Zubin Mehta's concert in Srinagar. It was followed by massive protests in the Valley. One protester was killed on September 11 in the same area.

Following huge public outcry, the authorities started an inquiry into both the incidents. Eyewitnesses have been asked to depose before the district magistrate.

Since September 7, the whole district was on the boil. Though the town observed a complete shutdown on Sunday, there were no major reports of stone pelting or protest from any part of the district as the curfew was completely lifted for first time in the past 15 days.

The administration was mulling to lift curfew for Monday as well, as the situation showed signs of improvement.

However, there was a security alert during the day when separatist JKLF leader Mohammad Yasin Malik was planning to visit Shopian. The police arrested him near Pampore, 20 km from Srinagar.

"He was moving in a cavalcade of trucks carrying essential commodities for the curfew-bound areas of Shopian. A group of leaders led by Noor Mohammad Kalwal reached Shopian with the relief and handed it over to the united civil society members," said a JKLF spokesman.


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