The Cabinet Committee on Security, which discussed the situation in Kashmir on Wednesday, decided to use Army as a "deterrent" and said that security forces will ensure strict enforcement of curfew. The Valley was brought under a curfew following killings of four civilians.
Entire Kashmir Valley was brought under a curfew after four civilians, including a woman, were killed by security forces. The Army staged flag march in several district of the valley to contain the growing protests, including Srinagar city after more than a decade now.
Hundreds of protesters defying curfew hit roads in central and north Kashmir and in Srinagar. Journalists’ offices, including NDTV, and lawyers’ houses were raided as the government cancelled curfew passes of the media men.
More than a dozen separatist leaders continue to be behind the bars in the state, including hard-line Sayed Ali Shah geelani and JKLF chief Yasin Malik.
Sources said the CCS, which was chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, took stock of the situation in the light of the Centre's decision to deploy Army in the wake of deteriorating law and order situation.
Last night, at the request of the state government, the Centre decided on deploying Army to assist the civil authorities in restoring law and order in the wake of spiralling protests in Srinagar following the killing of civilians on Tuesday.
The meeting decided that Army would be used in "peripheral" areas and not not in congested areas.
It also decided that police and security forces should ensure that there should be no no violation of curfew and that it should be strictly enforced.
The security Cabinet also felt that "maximum crackdown" should be carried out against miscreants.
Army staged a flag march in some areas of curfew-bound Srinagar this morning.
Home Minister P Chidambaram, Defence Minister A K Antony, Cabinet Secretary K M Chandrashekar, NSA Shiv Shankar Menon, Home Secretary G K Pillai, and Defence Secretary Pradeep Kumar attended the meeting.
There was no official word on any decision taken at the hour-long meeting.
Earlier, Minister of State for Defence M M Pallam Raju had said that army would remain on the streets in Srinagar till it was necessary but the government would like it to be short.
Protests in several areas
According to reports from central Kashmir’s Budgam district, thousands of people held protest procession at Chadoora and Beerwah. Separatists have asked people for 48-hour sit-in protests on roads and collected money for road-side langars (kitchens) for protesters. Budgam is 20 km north-south of Srinagar.
There were also reports of sit-in protests from Baramulla, 70 km north of Srinagar and Sopore, 55 km north of Srinagar.
In the afternoon a convoy of army started entering into interiors of Srinagar, including trouble spots like Batamaloo and Tengpora. There were chants of protest in several mosques in Srinagar since the morning.
Senior lawyer Mian Qayoom, who heads the High Court Bar Association, was arrested last night in a nocturnal raid. The Association had asked rural population to help urban protesters by providing them essentials like milk and vegetables.