IOK reels under curfew, political leadership held incommunicado

Srinagar, August 05 (KMS): Amidst growing panic and confusion over what is happening across occupied Jammu and Kashmir, Indian authorities have imposed undeclared curfew imposing complete bar on movement of people, holding of any kind of public meetings and rallies in length and breadth of the territory.

All educational institutions have been closed while Internet services snapped across occupied Jammu and Kashmir. As per the government order, identity cards of essential services will be treated as curfew passes. The order further said that there would be no movement of public and all educational institutions would remain closed. Various educational institutions also directed their students to vacate hostels.

Additional paramilitary forces, which arrived in IOK last week, have been deployed across Kashmir Valley and Jammu region. The strength of the security personnel has been increased around vital installations such as the civil secretariat, police headquarters, airport and various central government establishments. Barricades have been erected on many arterial roads, including the entry and exit points in Srinagar and other cities. Riot control vehicles have also been kept on standby.

The entire resistance leadership including Syed Ali Gilani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq has been placed under house arrest or detained in jails.

Former puppet chief ministers Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah have also been placed under house arrest. In a tweet, Omar Abdullah said: “If officers in the state government are to be believed mobile internet is going down now, an unofficial curfew is going to start…”

PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti also tweeted about the curfew. “Hearing reports about internet being snapped soon including cellular coverage. Curfew passes being issued too. God knows what awaits us tomorrow. It’s going to be a long night,” she said. Political leaders like Congress leader Usman Majid and CPI-M leader, MY Tarigami were also arrested.

Meanwhile, an order issued by District Magistrate, Islamabad, asked all petrol dealers against resorting to the sale of fuel without the permission of the DM or the officer authorised on his behalf.

“With no clarity, we are really worried,” said Shabbir Ahmed, a Srinagar resident. “These days we wake up to new fears. …It seems we are waiting for some doomsday.”

Members of the business community, too, are seeking clarity from New Delhi so that a sense of security was restored among the public. “On behalf of the business community, we demand restoration of a sense of security amongst the general public, proper assessment of business losses caused and protection against future losses,” said Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCC&I) Secretary-General Farooq Amin.

In Jammu too, gathering of four or more persons has been prohibited under Section 144. The University of Jammu has also been closed, and examinations to be held, today, stood postponed. Reports said that contingents of police, Central Reserve Police Force, Sashtra Seema Bal, Indo-Tibetan Border Police, Rapid Action Force and Border Security Force held marches in Poonch and Rajouri districts.

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