Curfew and "curfew-like" restrictions were re-imposed in several parts of Kashmir on Tuesday to keep protesters at bay from attempting demonstrations in reaction to the killing of 23-year-old Fayaz Ahmad Khaday and 10-year-old Faizan Ahmad in police action in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district.
A curfew was strictly imposed since morning in Baramulla district, 65 km north of Srinagar, and Sopore, 55 km north of Srinagar, as the authorities feared protests in these areas. Despite curfew, there were reports of minor protests in the town against the death of two youth from the area --- one, Faizan Ahmad, died after he drowned into a river in a police chase two days ago and 23-year-old Fayaz Ahmad Khanday fell to bullets fired on the funeral of Faizan.
Srinagar too was put under severe security restrictions, almost like curfew, where civilian and vehicular movement was not allowed throughout the day. There was no official declaration of curfew in Srinagar. Security in many towns in south Kashmir was also beefed up. People were not allowed to move freely or assemble in towns.
Markets, educational institutions, banks, and other business establishments remain closed and transport was off the roads in Kashmir in response to hardline All Parties Hurriyat Conference shutdown call and security restrictions imposed by the authorities.
“Consistent undeclared curfew, restrictions of movement and force against unarmed people of Kashmir is condemnable. What happened in Baramulla is worst kind of state terrorism. Such measures will not suppress the genuine demand for right to self determination of people of Kashmir,” said moderate Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq.
Referring to US leader Hillary Clinton’s statement, the Mirwaiz said “the world has understood the issue of Kashmir. It’s now impressing upon India to engage Pakistan and resolve the Kashmir issue as per the wishes of people here”.
Kashmir has again slipped into violence after limping back to normalcy for a few days since June 6, when four people were killed in security forces action against protesters in Srinagar’s Batamaloo and Maisuma area. The fresh deaths in Baramulla district is bound to instigate tension in the coming days.
The death toll in security forces action has already reached 17, highest civilian deaths in such a shorter period since the 2008 Amarnath land row agitation. Separatists have called for a week-long protests against the killings.