Curfew continues for 10th day in Kashmir
Srinagar, July 17: Strict curfew continued for the 10th day on Sunday in the Kashmir Valley, police said. “Curfew shall continue in all the ten districts of the Valley,” a senior police official said.
“Security forces have been instructed to allow movement of patients along with their attendants.” “People going to the airport will not face any hardship as air tickets were being treated as curfew passes,” the official added. The death toll in the ongoing violence reached 41 after an unruly mob torched a police picket in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district on Saturday. Police opened fire at the mob resulting in the death of a youth.
All vernacular and English dailies suspended publication for the second day on Sunday. State government officials said newspaper owners were asked to suspend publications till July 19. Cable television operations were allowed on Saturday evening after remaining suspended for a day.
The resumption of cable television operations was allowed after the operators agreed to take off all Pakistani TV channels and two private Indian channels.
Mobile phone internet and call operations remained suspended in south Kashmir areas for the eighth day while the
same remained suspended for the second day in central and north Kashmir areas on Sunday.
Mobile phone operations without any internet facility are, however, continuing on post paid mobile phones provided by the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL).
Train services between north Kashmir Baramulla and Bannihal town in the Jammu region also remained suspended. All recruitment interviews scheduled for the next four days have been cancelled by the state public service commission (PSC). All schools, colleges and universities in the Valley were also shut down.
Senior separatist leaders including Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, Muhammad Yasin Malik, Shabir Ahmad Shah and others have been either placed under house arrest or taken into preventive custody to restrain them from participating in protests.
Separatists have appealed the people to continue the shutdown till Monday. The shutdown in the Valley started on July 9 following the death of Hizbul Mujahideen commander, Burhan Wani in a gunfight with the security forces on July 8.
Despite unrest in Jammu and Kashmir, the Amarnath Yatra continued as another batch of 1,889 pilgrims left here for the valley. “Another batch of 1,889 yatris (pilgrims) left Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas in Jammu for the valley in 56 vehicles today,” a police officer told IANS here on Sunday.
“The batch of pilgrims comprises 1,422 males, 333 females and 128 sadhus, besides children.” The fleet of vehicles carrying the pilgrims is escorted by security forces, the police officer said.
Amarnath Yatra continued from Baltal base camp in Kashmir after the ongoing violence started here on July 9 following the killing of Hizbul commander Burhan Wani and his two associates in a gunfight with the security forces.
This year’s pilgrimage started on July 2 and will end on August 17 coinciding with Shravan Purnima and Raksha Bandhan festivals. So far, over 1,35,000 pilgrims have had ‘Darshan’ inside the cave shrine, which is situated at 3,888 metres above mean sea level in the Himalayas in Kashmir. Twelve yatris have died of natural causes during the pilgrimage so far.