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Nov 26, 2010 at 05:29pm IST

Curfew in Srinagar following Mirwaiz assault

Srinagar: Curfew was imposed in the Old City areas of Srinagar to prevent protests and violence on Friday, a day after Kashmiri separatist leader Mirwaiz Umer Farooq was heckled at a seminar in Chandigarh, officials said.

Curfew was clamped in five police station areas of Srinagar city - Nowhatta, MR Gunj, Rainawari, Khanyar and Safa Kadal. Hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani was placed under house arrest to thwart a protest march called by him after Friday prayers.

"Curfew will remain in force in five police station areas of Srinagar today while Section 144 (prohibiting the gathering of people) has been imposed in other areas to prevent violence by miscreants," a police officer said.

Curfew in Srinagar following Mirwaiz assault

The Kashmiri separatist leader was assaulted by Kashmiri Pandits and BJP activists in Chandigarh.

Moderate Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umer Farooq was heckled by some Kashmiri Pandits and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) activists in Chandigarh on Thursday.

Clashes had broken out in some Old City areas after news about the assault on the Mirwaiz reached the city.

Old City areas of Srinagar are traditional strongholds of the Mirwaiz family.

Reacting to news reports about the Mirwaiz being heckled, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said on Thursday: "I have no take on this incident, but that it was bound to happen. It is the people's reaction to their policies and programmes."

Syed Ali Geelani, meanwhile, has called for a protest march after the congregational Friday prayers to construct a resistance wall at the martyrs' graveyard in the Old City Eidgah area.

"Each person should carry a brick in his hand after Friday prayers and march towards Eidgah where a memorial wall to the martyrs would be constructed today," Geelani said in a statement.

Fearing violence during his proposed march, authorities placed Geelani under house arrest in the city's uptown Hyderpora area of the city.

Although the authorities said movement of schoolchildren and office-goers would not be prevented in the curfew-bound areas, few people moved out of their homes. However, some school buses carrying children were seen in some of the curfew-bound places.

Reports indicated that life was normal in other major towns of the Kashmir Valley.

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