Amid confusion over circumstances leading to the dead of a youth in Srinagar in a post-poll violence last evening, the authorities on Thursday imposed curfew in large parts of the old city to stop the situation spiralling out of control. Separatists have called for a shutdown and protests against the killing.
Srinagar's deputy commissioner Farooq Shah ordered the imposition of restrictions on movement of people in all areas coming under in at least seven police stations in the city to maintain law and order.
Situation in Srinagar turned ugly on Wednesday evening when two youth received bullet injuries immediately after the polling ended at Srinagar's Nawa Kadal area and the staff was shifting the ballot boxes. One youth, Bashir Ahmad Bhat, died in the firing incident, sparking major protests. Hundreds participated in the last rites of the youth who was buried in the night.
According to the police, a party of security forces came under severe attack by some miscreants in Nawakadal area. "The miscreants snatched the weapon of a security force personnel. In the ensuing scuffle two persons identified as Bashir Ahmed Bhat and Nazir Ahmed Kaloo were injured. Bhat lasts succumbed to his injuries,” the statement said.
Apparently Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) was manning and accompanying the poll staff at Nawa Kadal. CRPF spokesman, however, denied that the CRPF opened fire. "Our men didn’t open fire. There were other forces as well," a local news agency quoted CRPF spokesman Kishore Kumar as saying.
All mainstream parties and their leaders --- including chief minister Omar Abdullah, Union minister Farooq Abdullah and PDP's Mehbooba Mufti --- condemned the killing of the youth in security forces' firing.
Separatists, which include hardline Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Geelani, moderate Hurriyat chief Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and JKLF's Yasin Malik, called for shutdown on Thursday. Geelani has called for protests after Friday prayers too.
Separatists shutdown call disrupted life in north and south Kashmir too, where thin traffic and poor attendance in offices was reported.
The authorities have deployed additional security personnel in the old parts of the city, fearing fresh protests over the death. The security forces set up razor wires and iron barricades on all main raids passing through the old city to impose strict restriction on movement.
The security personnel since the morning did not allow movement of people.