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Srinagar put under curfew to avert protests on Aug 5

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August 4, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Authorities in Srinagar on Monday clamped curfew in the city in view of “specific inputs” about violent protests on August 5, the first anniversary of the revocation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status under Article 370 of Indian constitution and annexation it with India.

Srinagar district magistrate said in an order that the curfew will come into force with immediate effect and shall remain in effect on August 4 and August 5. Srinagar SSP Police has reported that a series of inputs have been received suggesting that freedom fightersand other groups have announced to observe August 5 as Black Day and violent action or protests are not ruled out, the DM said.

There are specific inputs about violent protests endangering public life and property, the order said. He said any mass gathering would also be detrimental to efforts related to the containment of COVID-19. The SSP report further suggests that in view of restrictions aimed at COVID-19 containment already in place, the movement and assembly of people have been prohibited, the DM said. Thus, any such mass gathering would be detrimental to efforts related to COVID-19 containment as well, he said.

The order said the report has further made a case that to prevent such violence and loss of life/property, it’s imminent to impose curfew in the district. Therefore, after having considered the material facts in the said report and examining the situation in backdrop of prevailing factors, I, District Magistrate, Srinagar, by virtue of powers vested in me u/s 144 CrPC hereby order complete restrictions on public movement/curfew in territorial jurisdiction of District Srinagar, the order read.

However, medical emergencies and movement of staff on COVID-19 duty with pass/valid cards shall be exempted from the restrictions, the order said. These restrictions shall come into force with immediate effect and shall remain in force on August 4 and 5, the order said, adding, the restrictions previously ordered on account of COVID-19 shall continue thereafter till August 8, unless revised earlier.

In the meanwhile, a soldier who visited IOK to celebrate Eid with his family, has been missing since Sunday evening, the Indian army has said. Rifleman Shakir Manzoor was part of the 162 Battalion had gone home to Shopian on leave. It is suspected that he has been abducted by Mujahideen, the Indian army said. Tweeting under the hashtag #TerrorismFreeKashmir, the Indian army said: “Rifleman Shakir Manzoor of 162 Battalion (TA), is missing since 1700hrs yesterday. His abandoned burnt car has been found near #Kulgam. It is suspected that the soldier has been abducted by Mujahideen.

Search op in progress.” The burnt car, which belonged to Manzoor, was found from Rambhama area of neighbouring Kulgam district. A search is on for him across Shopian, Kulgam and Anantnag districts. The police are using drones and sniffer dogs, sources said. Manzoor’s family has issued an appeal that he should not be harmed and returned safely. Targeting of off-duty soldiers visiting Kashmir by Mujahideen, have become a trend of sorts in south Kashmir since the first such instance three years ago.

In May 2017, a young, unarmed army officer was kidnapped by Mujahideen when he was attending a family wedding in Shopian. The bullet-riddled body of Lieutenant Ummer Fayaz was recovered the next day 30km from the wedding venue. The 22-year-old had joined the Rajputana Rifles five months before. In June 2018, another soldier Aurangzeb, who went home to Poonch for Eid, was abducted and killed.