With curfew back, lakhs of people hostage at homes

YUSRA HUSSAIN. Dated: 7/20/2013 1:06:26 AM

SRINAGAR, July 19: After the Gool incident, Kashmir is back to square one. Lakhs of people have been made hostage in their respective homes due to curfew in Srinagar city and other towns. Normal life has come to a grinding halt.
The heavy presence of security forces and police personnel is strictly enforcing the curfew. The roads and bridges have been blocked with laying of barbed wire and keeping armoured and other heavy vehicles. No prayers could be held in major mosques and shrines despite it being the second Friday of the holy month of Ramadan.
The roads and markets wore a deserted look with all shops, other business establishments, government and semi government offices and colleges and universities closed. The people had no option but to stay indoors due to curfew. Some people whose family members and relatives are in hospitals suffered immensely as they were not allowed to visit them. “My brother is admitted in SKIMS Soura. I wanted to see him and give money to my father who is also there for purchasing medicines. They have no money. But I was not allowed to go there,” said Abdul Rashid of Hyderpora.
He added that the authorities must allow the people whose relatives are in the hospitals. “We have a vehicle at home and I could have easily gone to SKIMS,” said Rashid.
Because of the curfew the people could not buy bread, milk and other eatables. “Since morning the security men told us not to venture out of our houses since curfew was in force. The shops in our locality were also closed due to curfew,” said Bashir Ahmad, a resident of Nowhatta on phone.
He stated that the government must relax curfew for sometime even if it cannot lift it to allow people to purchase essential commodities and medicines. “Due to the sudden imposition of curfew large number of families had not bought these commodities in adequate quantity,” Bashir said.
Nazir Ahmed, a businessman from old city of Srinagar, said the power transformer in their area developed some technical snag and the power supply was disrupted. “The employees of power development department could not come to our area due to curfew and the electricity supply remained disconnected. We faced lot of problems in hot weather and could not operate our fans,” he said.
Amid this grim scenario on the ground, the people do not know as when exactly the curfew will be completely lifted and their miseries coming to an end. “Nothing can be said as to when the curfew will be lifted. We talked to some security men and they told us that it may continue for two more days. The continuation of curfew can make our lives more miserable,” said Ghulam Mohammad of Malaratta.
It may be recalled here, that Syed Ali Shah Geelani, chairman Hurriyat Conference (G) has called for a three day general strike from today. A number of militant groups have supported his call. Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, chairman Hurriyat Conference (M) has also called for a two strike, while Mohammad Yasin Malik and Shabir Ahmad Shah had appealed the people to observe a strike today.
Meanwhile, the state authorities restored the mobile internet facility during the wee hours of this morning. The service was snapped yesterday after protests against Gool incident.



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