Srinagar Is Besieged, Again



A youth caught in concertina wire at Batamaloo Thursday. (Photo: Bilal Bahadur/KL)
A youth caught in concertina wire at Batamaloo Thursday. (Photo: Bilal Bahadur/KL)

On the fourth day of Zahid’s death that coincided with the 8th Muharram, Police have literally besieged Srinagar thus hampering the public movement and putting large number of people at great inconvenience.

Last evening, Kashmir police chief SJM Gillani shot a police handout to a local news gathering agency saying, “we won’t allow Muharram procession for the security reasons.”

Since Thursday morning all routes leading to city centre Lal Chowk were blocked by drop gates and concertina wires. At number of places, people were seen pleading the police and paramilitary officials to allow movement, but their repeated pleas were turned down, as per the eye-witnesses.

The stringent enforcement has also curtailed the movement of journalists, who also reported to have denied the free movement to cover the situation around Srinagar.

But the worst hit of the police siege are the patients. Eye-witnesses told Kashmir Life that many ailing persons were pleading for the passage to hospital. Security set up has laid a siege from the HSHS side of the Lala Ded Hospital preventing any movement towards the hospital. The approach from Jawahar Nagar is, however, open.

The security set up, apparently, had decided to expand the siege to larger areas quite late. As late as 9:15am, they were seen lacing the roads with concertina wires.

One officer said the reason for expanding the restrictions was that the government does not want any escalation of a crisis. A young man, who was injured in the tear smoke shelling in Bijbehara is still in hospital, he said.

In Old city, reports said the movement is normal but traffic is not around. Hawal and Nowhatta were tension free and the movement was routine. “The tension starts once one approach Barbar Shah,” a routine commuter said. “I did not see any tension between Lal Bazar and Barbarshah.”

A public holiday helped police to enforce restrictions as there was not much of traffic on the roads.


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