Life in most parts of Kashmir limps back to normal, restrictions ease
Life in most parts of Kashmir started limping back to normalcy after remaining paralysed for five days due to strikes and protests, but restrictions continued as a precautionary measure in Handwara and Kupwara towns where five persons have been killed since Tuesday.
While internet services remained snapped across the valley, train services between Baramulla in Kashmir and Banihal, across the Pir Panjal mountain range, resumed this morning after remaining off the tracks for four days.
There were no restrictions in Srinagar on Sunday, which has so far passed off peacefully with no untoward incident reported from anywhere in the valley, a police official said here.
He said the restrictions, imposed on Wednesday in six police station areas of the city, were lifted as there were no major protests on Saturday or no call either for a shutdown.
Restrictions were imposed following the death of three persons during protests against alleged molestation of a girl by a soldier in Handwara town on Tuesday. Two more were killed on subsequent days of protests in Kupwara district.
However, the official said, strict curbs on the movement of people remained in force in some parts of north Kashmir, including Kupwara and Handwara towns, for the fifth day to maintain law and order.
Mobile internet services remained suspended across Kashmir to prevent rumour mongering but the ban may be revoked later in the day after assessing the situation, the official indicated.
He said the train services in the valley also resumed today after four days of suspension.
Severe damage to the train insfrastructure has been caused in the past during protests in Kashmir and the railway authorities have used suspension of services as a method to prevent further damage to their property.
Meanwhile, normal activities resumed elsewhere in the Valley as no separatist group has called for a strike or protest for the day.
While government offices and educational institutions remained shut on account of being a Sunday, shops, fuel stations and other business establishments opened after four days in this capital city and across some other districts, the official said, adding that public transport was back on roads.
Besides three persons being killed on Tuesday, a youth was killed in Drugmulla area of Kupwara during protests against the Handwara incident a day after.
In fresh violence on Friday, 18-year-old Arif Hussain Dar was killed while three others sustained bullet injuries when army opened fire to disperse stone-pelting protestors outside a camp in Nathnusa area of Kupwara, 100 kms from here.
Two persons were injured in violent clashes that took place in Trehgam area of Kupwara district yesterday. Both the injured were shifted to a hospital in Srinagar for specialised treatment.
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti yesterday visited Handwara where she took stock of the situation and also met the kin of the deceased persons.
She also assured them that justice would be done.
Army Chief General Dalbir Singh on Sunday arrived in the state to take stock of the security situation.
The Army Chief, who is on a one-day visit to J-K, arrived at the headquarters of Udhampur-based Northern Command, where he was received by the northern army Commander Lt Gen D S Hooda, a defence spokesman said.
Lt Gen Hooda briefed the Army chief about the overall security situation in the Command theatre, he said.
The Army Chief interacted with the Corps Commanders and took firsthand assessment of the prevailing internal security situation especially in view of the recent incidents at Handwara and Nutnusa in the Kashmir Valley.
Handwara row: Girl records statement before CJM
The girl, who is at the centre of the Handwara molestation storm, has recorded her statement before the Chief Judicial Magistrate in which she stood by her earlier statement that she was not molested by any army soldier on Tuesday.
The girl along with her father was presented before the Chief Judicial Magistrate Handwara last evening and her statement was recorded, police said in a statement.
"In her statement before the Judicial Magistrate she reveals that on 12-04-2-16, after school hours while proceeding to her home along with her friends she entered in a public lavatory near main chowk Handwara for answering the call of nature.
"As soon as she came out of the lavatory, she was confronted, assaulted and dragged by two boys and her bag was snatched among whom one boy was in school uniform," the police said.
The cops presented the girl before the Chief Judicial Magistrate following orders by the Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Saturday on a petition filed by the mother of the girl.
The petition was seeking release of the girl, her father and aunt who are in police custody since the day when the allegations of molestation resulted in violent protests in Handwara town.
The mother yesterday claimed that her daughter, who is 16 years old, was pressurised into making the statement that had exonerated the army personnel of the molestation charge.
"The production of the girl along with her father before the learned CJM also complies with the order of the Hon ble High Court," the police statement said.