An indefinite curfew was imposed in Srinagar and other major towns of the Kashmir Valley Thursday following the killing of a 28-year-old youth in the city’s old quarters. Early in the morning, thousands of police and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) troopers moved into the capital and elsewhere to enforce the round-the-clock curfew.
Tension gripped the capital after Altaf Ahmad Wani succumbed to a bullet injury he sustained in the CRPF firing at Zonimar locality Wednesday, triggering protests. The locals alleged that Altaf was killed in unprovoked firing by CRPF. The CRPF said they opened fire after being subjected to heavy stoning by a mob.
The ruling National Conference called the killing of Altaf “a cold blooded murder”. The party said Altaf was an active worker of the party. Both factions of the separatist conglomerate Hurriyat Conference called for a shutdown Thursday to protest the killing.
A conglomerate of separatist groups, Mutaihida Majlis-e-Mashawarat (MMM), is spearheading the over month-long phase of protests in the valley to demand for return of the remains of Afzal Guru, the parliament attack convict who was hanged in Delhi's Tihar jail Feb 9. The MMM has asked people to hold post prayer protests Friday.
Chief Minister Omar Abdullah flew here Wednesday evening to review the overall situation in Kashmir following the fidayeen attack on a CRPF camp in Srinagar, killing five CRPF personnel.
Six troopers and four civilians were injured in the attack. The condition of one of the injured troopers is said to be very critical. Meanwhile, a wreath laying ceremony was held for the slain troopers here Thursday morning.
Jammu and Kashmir Director General of Police Ashok Prasad, and senior army, CRPF and police officers laid wreaths on the bodies which were later flown to their native places.