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HindustanTimes Fri,01 Aug 2014

Protests, curfew mar Friday

Peerzada Ashiq , Hindustan Times  Srinagar, September 13, 2013
First Published: 21:47 IST(13/9/2013) | Last Updated: 21:48 IST(13/9/2013)

The valley remained on the edge on Friday over the killing of five youth in the past six days in south Kashmir's Shopian and Kulgam districts. Demonstrations, shutdown and curfew in a few districts kept security agencies on toes all day.

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The police swooped on Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chief Yasin Malik and detained him along with his supporters when he tried to take a procession at Lal Chowk, commercial hub in Srinagar.

"These trigger-happy soldiers having shield of black laws like the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFPSA) with them kill anyone as no one dares to ask them any question or put them on trail," said Malik, while he was whisked away in a police vehicle.

Opposition People's Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti also led a protest march in the morning. "Kashmir has become a killing field where everyday bullets are fired at innocents. Only commissions are being ordered with no results till date. Such killings and commissions are on for the past five years since the NC-Congress government assumed the power," she said.

Moderate Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was placed under house arrest and was not allowed to lead Friday prayers at Jamia Masjid. Blaming both the central and state government for the latest killings, Mirwaiz said, "Brazen policy of providing total immunity from prosecution for the trigger-happy forces has put to great risk the life of every single Kashmiri."

Mirwaiz said he was writing to international embassies in Delhi about "grim and volatile situation of Kashmir".

"I make a fervent appeal to all people and groups in India and around the world who believe in equality to stand up and speak for us, to help and do their duty in putting a stop to these most barbaric acts of violence," he added.

Killing of four youth in Shopian district on September 7 has kept the valley on the boil. The government has ordered a magisterial probe to investigate the killings, where the CRPF claimed to have killed militants in retaliatory fire and the police said three were locals with no militant past. One more youth was killed during clashes on September 11.

Curfew was reimposed in Kulgam and Shopian on Friday. The authorities extended restrictions on movement in Pulwama and Anantnag too fearing protests after the prayers.

A spontaneous shutdown was observed in parts of north Kashmir. Hardline Hurriyat chairman has called for two-day shutdown from Saturday, asking people to get ready for "decisive struggle".

A number of students participated in a demonstration at Kashmir University after Friday prayers. Protesters also hurled stones at security forces in Maisuma and Nowhatta areas.


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