Life in most parts of Valley limping to normalcy

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SPORADIC incidents of clashes between stone-pelting mobs and security forces were reported from a number of places in Kashmir on Thursday even as curfew-like restrictions continued for the second day and mobile internet services were suspended in some areas in view of tension.

Restrictions have also been imposed in Handwara and Kupwara towns of Kupwara district and Pulwama town in south Kashmir.

For last few days Handwara, has been tense after three persons were killed in police firing by security forces on Tuesday over allegations that the girl, a resident of Handwara had been molested by a soldier.

Deputy Commissioner Srinagar, Dr Farooq Ahmad Lone told local news agency that restrictions will be imposed in parts of the city that fall under jurisdictions of seven police stations, including Kralkhud, Rainawari, Nowhatta, MR Gunj, Khanyar, Safakadal and Maisuma.

As a precautionary measure and to prevent trouble-mongers from spreading rumors, authorities also curbed internet on mobile devices for the day.

Separatist groups including hardline Hurriyat Conference led by Syed ALi Shah Geelani have called for a shutdown tomorrow to protest against the fresh killing. Public transport was also off the roads in the valley.

Quoting witnesses, she said Mohammad Shafi, an official of armed police dragged, her minor daughter to police station despite her being a complainant in a sexual assault case.

The petition was seeking release of the girl, her father and aunt who are in police custody since the day when the allegations of molestation resulted in violent protests in Handwara town.

Mehbooba visited and consoled the family of 18-year-old Arif Hussain Dar who was killed on Friday when the Army opened fire to disperse stone-pelting mobs outside a camp in Nathnusa area of Kupwara, 100km from here.

Health officials in Kupwara said the three wounded were referred to Srinagar for specialized treatment. Sources said the state government feels senior police officers failed to control the situation.

Meanwhile, a 16 year old schoolgirl in Handwara has been illegally detained by the police in Kashmir and is not allowed to go home, family alleges.

Mehbooba flew to Kupwara and chaired a high-level meeting to make an on-the-spot assessment of the situation that triggered after five civilian killings during alleged forces actions. She made it clear that no civilian should be harmed while security forces deal with law-and-order situations. They further alleged that the girl has been in custody from April 12, according to the family.

Police and paramilitary CRPF have been deployed in strength in sensitive areas to foil any attempt to hold protests.

The board of school education and the University of Kashmir have postponed all exams scheduled for today.


The author donaldhamm

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