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Kashmir highway opens, curfew to be lifted Sunday

Source : IANS
Last Updated: Sat, Jul 20, 2013 15:40 hrs

Srinagar, July 20 (IANS) The Jammu-Srinagar highway was opened as the situation remained largely peaceful in the curfew bound Valley Saturday and the authorities decided to lift the curbs from most areas the day after. The restrictions followed alleged killings by security forces in Ramban district and public protests.

"The situation remained largely peaceful in the Valley today. Curfew would be lifted tomorrow from most areas, however, restrictions would remain in force in some sensitive areas," a police officer said here.

Authorities also restored traffic on the strategic Jammu-Srinagar highway Saturday evening after the highway remained closed for the last three days.

The Amarnath Yatra which remained suspended for the last two days because of the closure of highway would also resumed Sunday, according to official sources.

Sporadic clashes occurred in Pulwama and Kupwara districts, but the authorities said no serious incident of violence was reported from anywhere in the state Saturday.

Separatist leaders, including Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and Muhammad Nayeem Khan, were placed under house arrest in Srinagar in order to prevent their participation in protests.

Two other senior separatist leaders, Muhammad Yasin Malik and Shabir Shah, who were arrested Thursday, have not been released so far.

Life is gradually limping back to normal in the Ramban district where four people were allegedly killed and 43 injured in Border Security Force (BSF) firing on protesters Thursday.

Over 30 people were injured in subsequent clashes between security forces and stone pelting mobs in Srinagar city and other places in the Valley Friday where people defied curfew, blocked roads, pelted stones on passing vehicles and engaged security forces in sustained clashes.

Trouble erupted in Gool village in Ramban district Thursday when villagers, alleging desecration of a mosque and beating up of the local imam by BSF personnel, stormed a BSF camp.

BSF Inspector General (Frontier Jammu) Rajeev Krishna told reporters the guards at the camp had opened fire to prevent looting of arms and ammunition.



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