78th day of shutdown, curfew in Kashmir | india | Hindustan Times
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78th day of shutdown, curfew in Kashmir

india Updated: Aug 26, 2010 14:13 IST

It was the 78th day of shutdown in the Kashmir Valley on Thursday as curfew remained in place in parts of Srinagar and in other towns to prevent violence that saw 64 deaths in the state in as many days.

"Curfew has been imposed in Old City areas falling under jurisdiction of 10 police stations. It shall also continue in Anantnag, Bijbehara and Badgam towns," a senior police officer said here.

However, restrictions were lifted from uptown areas of Srinagar, the police officer said.

"It is the 78th day of shutdowns and curfews. The impasse seems to be unending. Violence has assumed a pattern here. Stone pelting followed by batons, tear smoke shells and firing. Another youth loses life and the cycle is repeated," said Bashir Manzar, the editor of a daily English newspaper here.

"Unless the government immediately takes some political initiative Kashmir is falling into an abyss from where nobody can retrieve it," he said.

Manzar believes after 64 deaths during the last 78 days there has to be some result.

"It has become the Adam's apple for everybody now. How can you tell people to resume normal activities of life unless some achievement is seen on the ground?" he said.

"Sixty-four people did not die for a song here. Give them a sense of victory. Repeal the Armed Forces' Special Powers Act (AFSPA), release imprisoned political leaders and youth and only then can you reach the elusive starting point which Home Minister P. Chidambaram spoke about yesterday (Wednesday)," he said.

Till that "elusive starting point is reached", the suffering of the common Kashmiri seems inevitable, Manzar added.

The separatist Hurriyat faction headed by Syed Ali Geelani called for a protest shutdown Thursday, continuing the group's Quit Kashmir campaign.

Educational institutions, banks, shops, post offices, other businesses remained closed in Old City areas. While private transport plied in uptown areas, both public and private transport remained of roads in the old city.