Life disrupted in the Valley for second consecutive day | india | Hindustan Times
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Life disrupted in the Valley for second consecutive day

india Updated: Dec 13, 2008 12:42 IST

Life in Kashmir valley remained paralysed for the second successive day as authorities deployed heavy security forces to scuttle any attempt by separatists to disrupt the fifth phase of Jammu and Kashmir assembly elections today.

Roads in Srinagar and other majors towns of the Valley, excluding Pulwama and Shopian districts, have been sealed in view of anti-poll march call given by the separatist organisations as polling began for the 11 constituencies in the Valley, sources said.

Several top separatist leaders including chairmen of both factions of Hurriyat Conference Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and Syed Ali Shah Geelani, have been placed under house arrest, the sources said.

The separatists organisations are against the elections process and had called for protests and march on election days.

Following intelligence inputs regarding possible attacks on the candidates in fray, security has been beefed up, as compared to earlier four phases.

"We have inputs that militants might enter the polling areas and target the candidates", official sources said.

Prominent leaders in fray include PDP president Mehbooba Mufti and former ministers Ghulam Hassan Khan, Syed Bashir Ahmad and Mohammad Khalil Bandh.

Almost all shops and business establishments are closed and public transport is off the roads due to restrictions imposed by the security forces, the sources said.

At a number of places, the residents complained that they were not being allowed to come out of their houses by the security personnel.

The police officials, however, denied any curfew like situation, saying that only strict orders have been issued not to allow gathering of four or more people across the Valley, except Pulwama and Shopian districts where polling is underway.

There has been no report of any untoward incident from anywhere in the valley so far, they said, adding the situation is well under control.

Nearly two dozen prominent separatist leaders had been arrested since the Election Commission announced poll schedule for the Jammu and Kashmir on October 19.