Srinagar, Mar 20: Curfew-like restrictions were imposed on Wednesday morning as a precautionary measure in the downtown and Shehar-e-Khas (SeK) Srinagar following a strike called by separatists against the death of a private school principal in police custody on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the government on Tuesday evening ordered a magisterial inquiry into the custodial death of Rizwan Asad Pandit. A police official said that restrictions under Section 144 CrPC have been imposed in the areas falling under the jurisdiction of M R Gunj, Nowhatta, Rainawari, Safa Kadal and Khanyar in the downtown and SeK since Wednesday morning as a precautionary measure to prevent any law and order problem.
However, the situation on the ground was entirely different as security forces and state police personnel were directing people to remain indoors following a curfew imposed since early this morning in some areas in downtown and SeK.
All gates of historic Jamia Masjid, where Friday prayers was allowed last week after remaining closed for two weeks, have again been shut on Wednesday. A large number of security forces and state police personnel have been deployed in the Jamia market and nearby areas to prevent anybody from entering the worship place, stronghold of moderate Hurriyat Conference (HC) chairman Mirwaiz Moulvi Omar Farooq.
Hundreds of police and security force personnel, wearing bullet proof jackets and holding automatic weapons, were seen patrolling in these areas to strictly implement the restrictions. “As I felt early in the morning to get break for breakfast, I was directed by a security force personnel to go back inside the house as curfew was imposed in the area,” Muzafar Ahmad, a resident of Nawakadal, said.
The main Nallahmar road from Tarabal Nawa Kadal to Khanyar crossing has been closed for any traffic or pedestrian movement. Security forces have closed the main road in the downtown and SeK with barbed wire at Nawa Kadal, Rajouri Kadal and Kawdara. However, at some places only one side of the road was closed and vehicles were allowed to pass from the other side.
Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) -- comprising Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz and Mohammad Yaseen Malik -- had called for a strike on Wednesday against the death of the youth in police custody.
A large number of security forces have also been deployed in other parts of downtown and SeK, including Rainawari, Nowpora and Bobdamb. UNI