Strict curfew in Kashmir, protests go on
Despite the entire Valley having been put under curfew — following Monday’s fierce street battles which cost 17 lives — sporadic violence continued in the region on Tuesday. One more person died on Tuesday, while eight people were injured. Toufiq Rashid and Peerzada Ashiq report.india Updated: Sep 15, 2010 02:36 IST
Despite the entire Valley having been put under curfew — following Monday’s fierce street battles which cost 17 lives — sporadic violence continued in the region on Tuesday. One more person died on Tuesday, while eight people were injured.
The toll since June 11, when the current round of unrest began, has reached 88.
However, Monday’s explosion of anger and resulting death toll — the highest in a single day during this period — followed a Tehran-based television channel showing a video clip of the alleged desecration of the Quran in the US.
On Tuesday, more than 30 towns across the state remained under curfew and life continued to be crippled for the fourth day after Eid, which had fallen on Saturday
S.M. Sahai, inspector general, Kashmir range, however, said, “Things remained more or less under control, except for protests in some areas.”
The Vatican said on Tuesday that it deplored the “senseless violence” in Kashmir after rioters defied curfews and torched a Christian school in a surge of anger stoked by the desecration of the Quran.
Newspapers closed While the government banned all the local news television channels — besides the offending Press TV — on Monday itself, no Kashmir-based newspaper came out on Tuesday morning.
Mobile and Internet services also remained suspended.
Greater Kashmir, one of the leading Srinagar-based English dailies, said in its online edition that the strict curfew forced the local newspapers and television networks to suspend their operations.
Condemning the “relentless media gag”, the Kashmir Press Association said in a statement: “The unprecedented unrest of the past three months has hit the media industry in Kashmir severely.”
BUSINESS AS USUAL
Syed Ali Shah Geelani-led hard-line faction of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference, which has been leading the unrest so far, issued an 11-day protest schedule on Tuesday, asking the people to carry out normal activities from 7.00 am to 7.00 pm even on strike days.
The schedule exempted only two days – September 19 and 22 – from strikes and protests. “All business establishments, including manufacturing units, flour mills and cement factories, will remain open,” said a statement by the Geelani faction.
But moderate leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, who has been perceptibly distancing himself from the violent protests, said, “Though we don’t support any form of violent protests, there is genuine anger on the streets and the government is doing nothing to pacify the youth.”
OMAR DECIDES TO STAY
Ending speculations about his resignation for the violence that has been rocking the state, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said on Tuesday: “I am not going to resign.” The decision was apparently taken after Home Minister P. Chidambaram spoke to him earlier in the day.”
Meanwhile, the core group of the ruling National Conference meeting to discuss the deteriorating law and order situation in the Valley and the Centre putting off a decision on partial withdrawal of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) has been postponed to Wednesday.
First Published: Sep 15, 2010 02:33 IST