Crackdown on march eve
The J&K government won’t allow the march to Lal Chowk in Srinagar on Monday, in view of the highly volatile situation in the Valley, report Arun Joshi and Rashid Ahmad.india Updated: Aug 25, 2008 00:04 IST
The J&K government won’t allow the march to Lal Chowk in Srinagar on Monday, in view of the highly volatile situation in the Valley.
Authorities on Sunday also imposed indefinite curfew in all 10 districts of the Valley, as day-long violence left one person dead and 40 injured.
After several marches starting with ‘Muzzafarabad Chalo’, the government, it appears, has decided to put a stop to all “pro-freedom” marches. A beginning will be made on Monday. “No march will be allowed to Lal Chowk; it is an administrative decision,” sources said.
The move comes after several state Congress leaders, and leaders from other parties in Delhi, mounted pressure on the Centre to put an end to what they called the “free flow of anti-national activities and voices in Kashmir”. “We made it clear to the PM that these activities in Kashmir are causing problems in the rest of the country,” former Congress minister Raman Bhalla said.
An administration spokesman said there were inputs that leaders like Syed Ali Geelani and Mirwaiz Umer Farooq may be targeted during the march. “It’s not a time to take chances, but to act.” But the separatists said the assertions were bogus and the march was on.
Security forces fired at a violent crowd in the Dalgate area of the city, in which one person was killed by a stray bullet. Police also raided the residences of several Hurriyat leaders and arrested some of them. In many places, troops opened overhead fire to disperse stone-pelting mobs.
In Srinagar, CRPF men allegedly beat up photojournalists and camerapersons. Authorities have ordered cable TV channel operators to shun news bulletins.