For the third consecutive day on Saturday, restrictions continued in parts of Srinagar to maintain law and order in view of the strike called by separatist groups on the death anniversary of JKLF founder Maqbool Bhat. “Restrictions on the assembly of people continued in downtown (interior areas of the city) along with Maisuma police station area in uptown Srinagar,” a police official said.
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He said the restrictions continued in these areas for the third consecutive day in order to maintain law and order in view of the strike call. The official, however, said curbs have been lifted from all other areas where they were in place on Friday to foil the proposed march of the separatists to Lal Chowk and to the office of United Nations Military Observers Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) at Sonwar here.
He said the security forces have been deployed in strength in sensitive areas of the city and elsewhere in the Valley to thwart any protests. Restrictions in parts of the city were first imposed on Thursday in the wake of strike called by separatist groups on the death anniversary of Parliament attack convict Mohammad Afzal Guru, who was hanged on February 9, 2013.
While there was no strike on Friday, the separatists had called for a march to Lal Chowk city centre and to the UNMOGIP office to “submit a memorandum to urge the UN to pressurise Government of India into returning the mortal remains of Guru and Bhat”. Meanwhile, normal life was affected due to the strike called by the separatist groups, including both factions of Hurriyat Conference and JKLF, to protest Bhat’s hanging.
Most of the shops, petrol pumps and other business establishments were shut across the Valley, the official said. He said while most of the public transport was off the roads, private cars, cabs and auto-rickshaws were plying. Bhat was hanged and buried inside New Delhi’s Tihar jail on February 11, 1984.