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Curfew continues in Kashmir’s Handwara; Internet Snapped

kashmiri

kashmiriCurfew was imposed again in parts of a tense Kashmir Valley amid simmering anger over the death of four civilians, killed in firing and tear gas shelling by security forces in the last two days.

As a precautionary measure and to prevent trouble-mongers from spreading rumours, authorities also snapped cellphone internet for the time being.

According to a senior Police official, restrictions will continue in parts of old Srinagar city. Restrictions were also imposed in the main business hub of Lal Chowk, amid a valley-wide shutdown call by separatist groups in protest against the civilian deaths.

Curfew was also enforced in the north Kashmir Handwara town and parts of the border district of Kupwara.

Three civilian were killed in Handwara on Tuesday when police fired at the mob protesting against the alleged molestation of a teenage girl by an army man. The army has, however, dismissed the allegation as a rumour to malign the force.

A day later, people in Kupwara took to the streets to protest the Handwara deaths. A burning tear gas canister fired by police hit a 25-year-old man on his head. The man later succumbed to the injury.

Kashmiri leaders, including Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and Yasin Malik, have been placed under house-arrest as they had appealed to people to observe a protest shutdown against the killings.

There was a near-total response to the shutdown call as shops, schools, colleges, offices and other businesses in areas where restrictions have not been imposed remained closed. Public transport was also off the roads in the valley.

Separatists have also called for post-prayer protests on Friday.

The authorities extended the restrictions to mobile and internet services throughout the valley.

Trouble erupted in Handwara after a rumour on Tuesday that a school girl was allegedly molested by an army soldier. However, a video was circulated online in which a girl was shown denying the allegations.

Northern army commander Lt. Gen. D.S. Hooda visited Handwara on Wednesday and assured a time-bound inquiry to ascertain facts regarding Tuesday’s incident.

An assistant sub-inspector has been suspended for allegedly “mishandling” the protests in Handwara.

Kashmiris and concerned netizens responded that Indian Army is shooting to kill in Kashmir.

(with inputs from IANS)

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