Kashmir peaceful except for scattered protests after Friday prayers: officials

 

SRINAGAR: The situation in Kashmir's main city and the rest of the Valley remained mostly peaceful on Friday except for scattered protests after the afternoon prayers, officials said as authorities imposed fresh restrictions to ward off trouble.

About 300 people protested in Soura on the outskirts of Srinagar city after the Friday prayers. However, the crowds were dispersed with security forces making repeated announcements and a "mild lathi charge", the officials said.

Restrictions in several parts of Srinagar and other places in the Valley were reimposed after posters issued by separatists came up, calling on people to march to the local United Nations military observer group (UNMOGIP) office, they said.

In the posters, the Joint Resistance Leadership (JLR) of the separatists asked people to march to the UNMOGIP office to voice their protest against the abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir's special status.

The separatists claimed the Centre's move to scrap Article 370 is an attempt to change the demography of the state.

Barricades and concertina wires were erected at many places to prevent people from marching to Lal Chowk and Sonawar, where the UN office is located, the officials said, adding that the security forces had been deployed at strength at many places to maintain law and order.

Earlier this week, curbs were eased in most areas of Kashmir with barricades being lifted and the movement of people and traffic increasing gradually.

Markets have been shut and mobile and Internet services suspended since August 5, when the Centre revoked Jammu and Kashmir's special status and bifurcated the state into two union territories, Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

Several leaders, including former Jammu and Kashmir chief ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, have been kept in preventive custody since then.

 

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PTI