Tribune News Service
Srinagar, August 3
Srinagar administration has ordered complete curfew in the district with immediate effect—a development that comes as Jammu and Kashmir marks a year since the central government read down Articles 370 and 35-A, and split the state into two union territories.
Srinagar District Magistrate Shahid Iqbal Choudhary said in an order issued on Monday that he was invoking powers vested in him under Section 144 of the Indian Penal Code to impose “complete restrictions on public movement/curfew” in Srinagar. The decision came after the administration decided “specific inputs of violent protests” to observe August 5 as “Black Day”.
The order said curfew will come into force with immediate effect and shall remain in effect on August 4 and August 5.
“Whereas Sr Superintendent of Police. Srinagar, vide communication No. 68/ I50-20/9389-91 dated 03.08.2020 has reported a series of inputs have been received suggesting that separatist and Pakistan sponsored group are planning to observe 5th August 2020 as Black Day, thereIn apprehension of violation action or protests are not ruled out. There are specific inputs about violent protests endangering public life and property,” the order read.
The order also cited the state’s COVID-19 situation and said any such mass gathering would be detrimental to the efforts” of COVID containment.
“Whereas the report further suggests that in view of restrictions aimed at COVlD-19 containment already in place the movement and assembly of people have been prohibited to avoid spread particularly in wake of recent spike. Thus, any such mass gathering would be detrimental to efforts related to COVlD-I9 containment as well.”
“Whereas the report has further made a case that to prevent such violence and loss of life/property, it’s imminent to impose curfew in the district. Therefore, after having considered the material facts in said report and examining the situation in backdrop of prevailing factors. I. District Magistrate. Srinagar, by virtue of power vested in me u/s 144 CrPC hereby order complete restrictions on public movement/ curfew in territorial jurisdiction of District Srinagar.”
hese restrictions shall come into force with immediate effect and shall remain in force on August 4 and 5, the order said, adding, the restrictions previously ordered on account of COVID-19 shall continue thereafter till August 8, unless revised earlier.
The central government imposed complete restrictions on movement when it abrogated Article 370 and 35-A on August 5 last year. Several mainstream politicians, including three of the state’s former chief ministers—Farooq and Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti—were placed under detention.
While the Abdullahs—against whom the UT administration invoked the draconian Public Safety Act, along with Mufti and some other leaders—have been released, the Jammu and Kashmir administration extended Mufti’s detention by three more months.