Ramban deaths: Protests rock J&K, curfew in major towns

KashmirProtesters pelt stones at security personnel in Srinagar on Friday. PTI

Fearing widespread protests over the killing of four civilians at Gool in Ramban district, authorities imposed a curfew in Srinagar and all major towns of Kashmir.

At Kurhama in Ganderbal, two protesters sustained pellet injuries when police dispersed a demonstration. Protests against the Ramban incident were also held at Tral and Bandipore. A three-day strike has been called by separatist groups, including both factions of Hurriyat Conference, against the incident. Many separatist leaders have been placed under house arrest and Friday prayers were not held at the Jamia Masjid.

Police spokesman, however, said the situation in Kashmir was under control. "The situation so far is under control though some stone-pelting incidents have been reported. Miscreants pelted stones in Kurhama, Ganderbal in which two were injured. The injured have been referred to hospital and are stable,'' the spokesman said.

The state government shifted Ramban Deputy Commissioner, Shyam Vinod Meena, and posted Director Estates, Mohammad Hussain Malik, in his place. Meena has been asked to report to General Administration Department. Curfew was imposed across Kashmir and additional troops were deployed at all the sensitive places late Thursday night. In the city, especially in the downtown areas, many vital roads were sealed with barbed wire and people were not allowed to move out of their homes.

Officials said in the wake of the protests on the National Highway, no fresh batch of Amarnath pilgrims was allowed on Friday from Jammu for the Amarnath cave shrine. State's Director General of Police, Ashok Parsad, said the Amarnath yatra was not allowed to proceed from Jammu in view of tense situation in towns and villages along the National Highway. He also convened a meeting of citizens at Jammu and appealed to maintain peace. A shutdown was also observed in Bhaderwah, Banihal, Thathri, Kishtwar, Gool, Doda, Sangaldan against the incident. The cellular Internet services, that were disconnected on the orders of the government, were restored after six hours late Thursday night. In the wake of the curfew, Kashmir University has postponed all examinations.

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