Curfew remained in place for the fourth consecutive day on Friday in the Kashmir Valley with some relaxation to allow people to offer Friday prayers as militants struck at three places in Sopore in north Kashmir, leaving two policemen injured.
Simultaneously, Jammu and Kashmir police cracked down on stone pelters during the night and today as well and arrested nearly two dozen people which included Mehraj-ud-din Bhat, Mohammed Ashraf Laya and Yusuf Mujahid -- all activists of Hurriyat Conference faction led by hardliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani.
The three were charged with instigating mobs to turn violent.
Announcements were made locally by the police informing people that they can go for Friday prayers. This period passed off peacefully without any trouble in the city.
However, there were sporadic clashes in Tregham in Kupwara, old Baramulla town and in Dalgate which was brought under control by a mild cane-charging by the police.
The authorities, however, lifted restrictions on the movement of media persons in the wake of curfew in Srinagar and certain other parts of the valley and issued fresh curfew passes to them.
Media persons can perform their official duties, an official spokesman said.
Newspapers failed to hit the stands for the second day on Fridayday in the Valley in the wake of the restrictions.
Official spokesman said there was no gag order on the media but "we were only enforcing the curfew strictly".
The last time the newspapers did not come out was in 2008 at the height of the Amarnath land agitation. Publication of dailies at that time was suspended for four days.
Newspaper publication had also remained suspended for 40 days during elections in 1996.
Army, which had staged flag marches in Srinagar, did not repeat the exercise this morning. The district administration asked the Army to remain on stand by for deployment in case of an emergency.
The authorities were working on plans to give relaxation in curfew to allow people to offer prayers at Hazratbal during the night on the occasion of Shab-e-Mehraj.
Chief Minister Omar Abdullah held a meeting of senior police officials and bureaucrats and was closeted with senior ministers of his cabinet to take stock of the situation.
He discussed further easing of curfew restrictions in view of Shab-e-Mehraj, a religious function.
Omar has also convened an all-party meeting in Srinagar on Monday to discuss the present situation.
Suspected Lashkar-e-Taiba Militants hurled three grenades at a police convoy in the outskirts of Sopore city, 54 kms from here in the wee hours today, official sources said.