Police foils Lal Chowk march

Excelsior Correspondent
Srinagar, Dec 5: Security forces today foiled Lal Chowk march of separatists by imposing restrictions in the city centre and detaining leaders.
The roads leading towards Lal Chowk were sealed off by police and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) by erecting barricades and laying concertina wires. No vehicle or pedestrian were allowed to cross these barricades that were set up from multiple sides including Court Road, Residency Road, Amira Kadal Bridge, Palladium Cinema and Abi Guzar.
However, there were no restrictions in any other part of the city. Apprehending protests, large number of police and CRPF men were deployed in Old City areas, Maisuma and Habba Kadal. Due to tight security arrangements, there was less movement of pedestrians and vehicles in these areas.
In view of the call for Lal Chowk march, Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani were put under house arrest at their Nigeen and Hyderpora residences respectively. The JKLF chief, Yasin Malik, however, evaded arrest.
This afternoon, Malik along with dozens of JKLF activists took out a protest march from the Dastgeer Sahab shrine and attempted to march towards Lal Chowk but police deployed there stopped them and whisked away Malik and few of his supporters in a police vehicle. The other demonstrators were chased away by police.
Police said the situation in Srinagar and other parts of the Valley remained peaceful. Most of the shops, commercial establishments, educational institutes and petrol pumps were closed but passenger and private vehicles were mostly running on all routes.
Police said minor incidents of stone-pelting were reported from Rekka Chowk Batamaloo and Noorbagh. “The stone-pelters were dispersed by using mild force,” said a police official. He said elsewhere the situation was peaceful and no attempt to march towards Lal Chowk was made by anyone.

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