Srinagar: Curfew continued for the sixth day in the old city areas of Srinagar on February 14, even as authorities decided to extend curfew relaxation in many other towns of the valley. Curfew was imposed in parts of the state after Afzal Guru, convicted in the parliament attack case of December 2001, was hanged to death in the Tihar Central Jail in the national capital on Feb 9, even before his family was informed.
Authorities said curfew restrictions would continue on February 14 in old city areas of Srinagar, and the towns of Sopore, Baramulla, Pattan, Handwara and Kangan, Shopian, Pulwama and Anantnag in the valley. It will also remain in force in Bandipora district.
However, the curfew has been relaxed in areas falling under Rajbagh, Ram Munshi Bagh, Shergarhi, Saddar, Kothibagh, Shaheed Gunj, Lal Bazaar, Nigeen, Zakoora, Nowgam, Bemina, Panthachowk and Parimpora police stations in Srinagar district.
In entire Badgam district, curfew has been relaxed from 10 am to 12 noon on February 14. The relaxation will continue from February 14 morning onwards in Pulwama, Anantnag and Kulgam districts, except at the district headquarters.
No major untoward incident was reported from anywhere in the valley on February 13, though stray instances of stone pelting were reported. Chief Minister Omar Abdullah denied reports that a gag had been imposed on the media. He, however, confirmed that authorities blocked internet access to check the spread of rumours.
"There is no ban on newspapers in Kashmir. Newspapers are choosing not to print because restrictions make delivery of newspapers impossible," Omar Abdullah said on his micro blogging Twitter site.
"Those continuously going on about 'government gag' would well be advised to produce a single copy of this gag order," the chief minister tweeted.
Internet remained blocked for the sixth day on February 14 across the valley both on mobile phones and dongle appliances, while BSNL broadband users were able to access internet. Three persons have so far died in clashes with security forces across the valley in the last six days. Over 50 others, including protestors and security men, have been injured in this period.
Police said one local policeman was injured while performing his duties in Sopore in north Kashmir, and has been admitted to the army hospital in Srinagar in a critical condition.
Director General of Police Ashok Prasad has denied that any complaint has been lodged against Central Reserve Police Force personnel in the north Kashmir Watergam (Rafiabad) firing incident, in which one teenager was killed February 10. Prasad, however, confirmed that a first information report (FIR) was lodged by state police to investigate the incident that led to the death of one teenager and injuries to four people.
In areas where curfew has been relaxed on February 14 morning, people were seen busy buying essential commodities, including foodstuff, medicines and cooking gas.