Day 55: Fresh curbs bring Kashmir to a halt


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Major Roads sealed with concertina wires, Heavy deployment of forces on vital road links, No Friday prayers at Jamia on eighth week, mobile connectivity, Train services suspended

Srinagar, Sep 27 :  At a time when people of Kashmir are pinning hopes on the United Nation General Assembly (UNGA) session where Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan—Narendera Modi and Imran Khan are set to make speeches on Kashmir, the authorities on Friday imposed fresh curbs across the Valley including Srinagar to prevent any possible protest. The authorities also disallowed the Friday congregational prayers at the historic Jamia Masjid for the eight consecutive week.
According to wire service—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), the authorities on Friday imposed stringent curbs across Kashmir amid massive frisking operations at various places on Srinagar-Jammu highway where sleuths of Special Operations Group (SoG) were stopping private vehicles for thorough searches. Many travelers complained that they were harassed too in the name of frisking, an allegation denied by the top officials, who termed “it as a routine exercise.”
Witnesses told KNO that since early morning, heavy deployment of security forces was made across Srinagar including downtown areas—Nowhatta, Khanyar, SafaKadal, Rainawari and MahrajGunj.
“Security forces personnel wearing riot gear were deployed in length at Nowhatta and its adjoining areas. The Jamia Masjid remained sealed and no one was allowed to proceed towards it. Today was the eighth Friday in a row when authorities didn’t allow the congregational prayers at Jamia,” said Aijaz Ahmed a resident of downtown, Srinagar.
Witnesses told KNO that elsewhere in Srinagar, including LalChowk, all the roads were sealed with barbed wires and restrictions were eased at 5 pm in the city areas. In districts, including southern districts of Pulwama, Kulgam, Shopian and Anantnag, heavy deployment was made to prevent any possible protests. Similar security arrangements were made in northern districts of Kashmir.
Shops, Schools, Universities and other educational institutions continued to remain closed for the 55th consecutive day. Public transport also remained off the roads while as Train services that were suspended on August 5, also were on a halt for the eight week. Mobile connectivity including all modes of internet remain suspended for the 55th day on all networks.  The mobile phones are working in only two police districts—Handwara and Kupwara. A police official told KNO that there was no untoward incident anywhere in Kashmir and the day passed off peacefully.   


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