Curfew like restrictions in Valley, Sec 144 in Jammu; internet shut

Para-military personnel deployed in Srinagar following imposition of restrictions late Sunday night. —Excelsior/Shakeel
Para-military personnel deployed in Srinagar following imposition of restrictions late Sunday night. —Excelsior/Shakeel

Two former CMs among several under house arrest

Fayaz Bukhari
Srinagar, Aug 4: Authorities tonight imposed indefinite curfew like restrictions in Srinagar and other parts of Kashmir and mainstream leaders including former Chief Ministers have been put under house arrest amid speculations that Centre may scrap special status of Jammu and Kashmir.
Several mainstream leaders including two former Chief Ministers -Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti – were placed under house arrest tonight.
Omar tweeted: “I believe I am being placed under house arrest from midnight tonight and the process has already started from other mainstream leaders. No way of knowing if this is true but if it is then I will see all of you on the other side of whatever is in store. Allah save us.”
Mehooba Mufti also said that she is under house arrest besides several other leaders. In her tweet tonight, she said: “How ironic that elected representatives like us who fought for peace are under house arrest. The world watches as people and their voices are being muzzled in J&K. The same Kashmir that chose a secular democratic India is facing oppression of unimaginable magnitude. Wake up India.”
Several other mainstream leaders including chairman of Peoples Conference Sajjad Gani Lone, CPIM General Secretary M Y Tarigami and Congress leader Usman Majid have also been put under house arrest.
And authorities have also imposed curfew like restrictions in Kashmir valley after thousands of para-military companies were deployed in major cities and towns of Kashmir.
An official spokesman said here that Government has imposed restrictions under Section 144 CrPC in district Srinagar with effect from midnight 5th August (Monday) which shall remain in force till further orders.
The schools in Srinagar have also been shutdown. “As per the order there shall be no movement of public and all educational institutions shall also remain closed”, the order said.
The public meetings and rallies in Srinagar have been banned. “There will be a complete bar on holding any kind of public meetings or rallies during the period of operation of this order”, the order said.
“Identity cards of essential services officials will be treated as movement passes wherever required. It should be noted that there will be no curfew in place as reported in a section of the media”, it added.
And security around vital installations in Kashmir has been beefed up and mobile internet has been snapped with speculations rife that the mobile networks will also be shut down in the morning.
Fresh companies of security forces were deployed in major towns and Srinagar city today. These companies have been stationed at various places in Srinagar and other major towns.
The strength of the security personnel has been increased around vital installations like Civil Secretariat, police headquarters, airport and various Central Government installations in the city.
Barricades were erected on many arterial roads including the entry and exit points to Srinagar city. Riot control vehicles have also been kept on standby in some areas where apprehensions of law and order disturbances are more
Various educational institutions have asked their students to vacate the hostels due to the situation. Kashmir University and Central University have postponed examinations scheduled for next week. The Registrar of Kashmir University Professor Nisar Ahmad Mir said that examinations scheduled between August 5 and August 10 have been postponed and fresh dates will be announced later. Central University of Kashmir has also postponed all exams till August 10.
All the markets across Kashmir were open today, despite being Sunday, as people thronged the markets to stock up essentials, food items, medicine and petrol.
Serpentine queues of vehicles, including cars and bikes, could be seen outside fuel stations in view of apprehensions that the authorities might impose curfew across the valley on Monday.
At some of the fuel stations, people had brought additional cans with them to store fuel at home, in case the rumours about prolonged law and order problems come true.
The Government has distributed hundreds of Satellite phones to top police officials including SHO and administrative officers as mobile networks will be shut down in case of a law and order problem.
Meanwhile, the Islamic University of Science and Technology (IUST) has postponed all examinations and directed students to vacate hotel and leave for home immediately.
A notification issued by the IUST, Awantipora in south Kashmir district of Pulwama, today said that all semester examinations scheduled to be held from Monday to August 9th have been postponed.
It said new dates for these examinations will be issued separately.
All students staying in university hostels have been directed to leave for their homes immediately.

Azad in touch with Oppn to corner Govt
Major Opposition parties tonight got in touch in New Delhi to discuss tense situation in Jammu and Kashmir and corner the Government in the Parliament tomorrow.
Leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha and former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, Ghulam Nabi Azad along with his party colleagues has established contact with senior leaders of various Opposition parties to grill the Central Government in both Houses of the Parliament tomorrow.
The Opposition was reportedly concerned over the Central Government’s latest moves in Jammu and Kashmir and would rake up the issue tomorrow.