#Day36: Ahead of referendum march Lal Chowk sealed, postpaid cellular services restored



The deserted Lal Chowk. (KL Image: Bilal Bahadur)
The deserted Lal Chowk. (KL Image: Bilal Bahadur)

All entry and exit points towards commercial hub Lal Chowk have been sealed by the state authorities on Saturday to prevent a “referendum march” on August 13 and 14 called by the joint resistance leadership.

Authorities barricaded Lal Chowk and there is heavy deployment of government forces. There were barricades at every major intersection. At several places, government forces were blamed for not entertaining curfew passes issued by the district administration in Srinagar. Meanwhile, curfew and restrictions remain imposed for the  36th consecutive day.

As per the fresh protest calendar, joint resistance leadership have called a march from “every mohallah, village, locality, tehsil and district towards Lal Chowk, Srinagar” to demand ‘azadi (freedom)’.  “If and wherever stopped, sit and continue protest for till Sunday evening,” the schedule said.

Earlier today, a youth Suhail Ahmad Wani from Lethpora succumbed to his injuries at SKIMS, Soura. And another youth from Tangmarg continues to remain critical at same hospital. He was admitted on Friday evening.

On Friday a many protesters were injured after the Friday congregation prayers across the Valley. A police statement said on Friday evening that “more than three dozen incidents of stone pelting” were reported from different districts of the Valley including “Islamabad, Pulwama, Kulgam, Shopian, Baramulla, Sopore, Kupwara and Bandipora”.

Mobile phone services by private companies were barred from late Thursday evening and broadband services to major newspapers by private service providers were are also barred after Friday prayers. But on Saturday, postpaid mobile service were restored partly but private broadband internet services continue to remain suspended.

The leaders of both the factions of Hurriyat Conference Syed Ali Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq are under house detention while Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) Chief Yasin Malik is lodged in central Jail Srinagar.


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