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J&K: Curfew in Poonch following violence

By Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar
Last updated on: August 08, 2008 13:15 IST
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An indefinite curfew was imposed in the border town of Poonch in Jammu region after a flare up and clashes between members of  two communities late on Thursday.

After relative calm in Jammu and other districts on Thursday, the afternoon saw tension mounting in Poonch, and protestors of two communities clashing with each other, forcing the authorities to clamp curfew in the town to control the situation on Friday morning.

The trouble started as members of a community held protests in Poonch town late on Thursday against the cancellation of land allotment to Amarnath Shrine board, resulting in altercations and stone-pelting.

The police tried to intervene, but as the trouble kept mounting, the army had to be moved in on Friday morning after curfew was imposed to control of the situation.

The situation in Jammu city and other curfew-bound towns was relatively peaceful on Friday morning.

Meanwhile in Srinagar, senior separatist leaders were placed under house arrest, hours before Friday prayers to prevent their participation in a march here.

The march had been called by the moderate group of the separatist conglomerate All parties Hurriyat Conference led by Mirwaiz Moulvi Umer Farooq.

Those placed under house arrest include Mirwaiz, hardline AHPC chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Shabir Ahmad Shah.

A bandh called by the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front crippled life in Kashmir for the fourth day on Friday.

Shops are closed and traffic is off the roads.

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Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar