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Curfew cripples Kashmir

By Mukhtar Ahmad In Srinagar
Last updated on: August 26, 2008 16:51 IST
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The over 60-hour valley-wide curfew continued without any break Tuesday, as an uneasy calm prevailed on Tuesday across Kashmir.

Compared to Monday's widespread curfew violations in which five persons were killed and over 100 wounded Tuesday was by far and large calm.

The reinforced police and paramilitary, central reserve police force (CRPF) deployments are patrolling on foot and in armoured cars the barricaded and deserted streets of capital Srinagar, and other valley towns, with no civilian activity visible anywhere.

"We have strict orders to enforce curfew and be firm with any violations," a police officer said.

Over a dozen separatist leaders including Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Moulvi Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik have been arrested by the police, while others have gone underground to escape arrest.

The co-ordination committee of the separatists had called for a shutdown against the arrest of senior separatist leaders.

Newspapers in Kashmir have not hit the stands for the second consecutive day due to curfew restrictions.

Local TV channels are also off the air, following a ban imposed on these by the local administration.

Dozens of marriages have been cancelled because of the curfew here in this peak marriage season.

In view of curfew, people are hard pressed for domestic essentials whose shortage is being felt in capital Srinagar with non-availability of milk, baby food, bread, vegetables and mutton, making them desperate.

There is no likelihood of a break in the over 60 hour long indefinite curfew even today, because of apprehensions of more protests by locals, erupting during the curfew break.

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Mukhtar Ahmad In Srinagar