Curfew-like restrictions were re-imposed today in several parts of Kashmir, including Srinagar city, to foil any plans of taking out Muharram processions in the Valley as authorities apprehended about the possibility of untoward incidents due to large congregations.
Srinagar’s main commercial area Lal Chowk and adjoining areas were completely sealed off by placing security wires at all entry points where large numbers of security force personnel were deployed, our New Delhi correspondent reports quoting officials.
Restrictions have already been in vogue several parts of Kashmir as a precautionary measure for maintaining law and order in the Valley, they said
The officials did not cite any reason for re-imposing restrictions but it is understood that the step was taken to prevent Muharram processions in the city and elsewhere in the Valley. The processions stand banned in Kashmir since 1990 when armed insurgency began.
Restrictions were first imposed across Kashmir on August 5 when the Indian government announced its decision to scrap Article 370 withdrawing special constitutional status and bifurcate the state into federally-ruled territories.
Thereafter, the restrictions were withdrawn in phases from several parts of the Valley as the situation improved with the passage of time.
The authorities have been imposing restrictions in vulnerable areas of the Valley every Friday, apprehending that vested interests might exploit the large gatherings at big mosques and shrines to foment protests.
Meanwhile, normal life remained severely affected in Kashmir due to the shutdown in the Valley which entered 37th day today.
Markets and other business establishments remained closed while public transport was off the roads across the Valley, the officials said
Most of the top-level and second-rung separatist politicians have been taken into preventive custody while mainstream parties’ leaders, including three former chief ministers Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti have been either detained or placed under house arrest, a step authorities said aimed at ensuring their own safety.