Curbs reimposed in parts of Kashmir as protests break out after Imran Khan’s speech
Restrictions continued in Srinagar and parts of Kashmir for a second consecutive day on Saturday.
In the morning, police started announcing in parts of the city that restrictions had been re-imposed, asking people not to violate section 144 which has been in place since the special status of J&K was revoked by the Centre on August 5.
Fresh restrictions were imposed after protests broke out on Friday evening right after Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan’s speech at the United Nations general assembly where he raised the Kashmir issue. Locals said soon after Khan’s speech, people came out on the streets in the old city and raised slogans.
Fearing an escalation in protests, authorities re-imposed restrictions. At some places, police also prevented traders from opening their shops. “I was asked by the police not to open my shop as restrictions have been re-imposed in the city,’’ said Fayaz Ahmad, a shopkeeper at Lal Chowk.
Barricades and barbed wires were placed at several places in the city and some lanes were sealed. At other places, vehicles were used to block the roads. Restrictions were also imposed in south Kashmir’s Awantipora and Anantnag towns but were eased as the day progressed.
A grenade attack was also reported from Nawakadal in the old city though north Srinagar SP Sajjad Shah said it must have been a teargas shell blast. “We are verifying it,’’ he said.
Kashmir has been subjected to a complete shutdown for 55 days now. However, government offices are functioning and many banks are also open. But public transport is still not plying and students are staying away from schools which were reopened last month. While the landline telephones were restored in all parts of the Valley, mobile phone and internet services are still not functioning. Broadband and lease line connections in Kashmir also remain suspended.