Curfew ordered in Kashmir till August 5, intel reports of ‘violent protests’

As Kashmir marks one year of abrogation of Article 370, authorities have imposed a two-day curfew on Tuesday and Wednesday in anticipation of violent protests. The Srinagar district magistrate in an order said they have got information about “separatists and Pakistan sponsored groups planning to observe August 5 as Black Day”.

“…Protests are not ruled out. There are specific inputs about violent protests endangering public life and property,” the order for Srinagar district said, though the curfew is applicable across Kashmir valley.

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“There are specific inputs about violent protests endangering public life and property…,” the curfew order of Srinagar stated. While the curfew has been imposed across the Kashmir Valley, only people engaged in essential services will be allowed to move in view of the coronavirus pandemic.

On August 5, 2019, the Narendra Modi government had striped Jammu and Kashmir of its special status by revoking Article 370 and bifurcated it into two union territories, Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. Union Home Minister Amit Shah had moved a resolution in the Rajya Sabha that Article 370, which allowed Jammu and Kashmir to have its own Constitution, will no longer be applicable.

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Senior superintendent of Srinagar has reported that a series of inputs have been received suggesting that separatist and Pak sponsored groups are planning to observe 5th August 2020 as Black Day, therein apprehensions of violation action or protests are not ruled out. There are specific inputs about violent protests endangering public life and property,” reads an order issued by Distrct Magistrate Srinagar Shahid Iqbal Choudhary.

In view of restrictions aimed at COVID-19 containment already in place, the movement and assembly of people have been prohibited to avoid spread particularly in wake of recent spike, it reads.“Thus, any such mass gathering would be detrimental to efforts related to COVID-19 containment as well.”

The report has further made a case that to prevent such violence and loss of life and property, it’s imminent to impose curfew in the district, he said.

“Therefore, after having considered the material facts in report and examining the situation in backdrop of prevailing factors, I, District Magistrate, Srinagar, by virtue of powers vested in me u/s 144 Cr PC hereby order complete restrictions on public movement / curfew in territorial jurisdiction of District Srinagar,” order reads.

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Further, it reads that medical emergencies and movement of staff on COVID-19 duty with pass/Valid Cards shall be exempted from above restrictions. “Additional Deputy Commissioner (Adm), Srinagar shall deploy one Magistrate each to coordinate implementation in each Police Stations jurisdictions,” he said, adding, “These restrictions shall come into force with immediate effect and shall remain in force on 4th and 5th August 2020,” the order said, adding, “Meanwhile, the restrictions previously ordered vide this office order dated 31st July 2020 on account of Covid-19 shall continue thereafter till 8th August unless revised earlier.”

With a heavy deployment of security forces on the roads, shops and markets will remain closed and there will be no movement of transport.

Meanwhile reacting to the development, former Chief Minister tweeted, ” The preparations start a ful 24 hours earlier this year compared to 2019 with Srinagar, and I presume the same is being done across the valley being placed under strict curfew from tonight for the next two days.

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