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Curfew announced in Srinagar for two days

The administration fears protests on first anniversary of removal of J&K’s special status

The Srinagar administration on Monday declared a curfew for August 4 and 5, the first anniversary of removal of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status, as it “feared protests and violence.”

“A series of inputs have been received suggesting that separatist and Pakistan-sponsored groups are planning to observe August 5 as a ‘Black Day’, therein apprehensions of protests are not ruled out. There are specific inputs about violent protests endangering public life and property,” reads an order issued by the District Magistrate, Srinagar.

Also read: No new government jobs in J&K a year after Article 370 move

The orders on complete restrictions on public movement and a curfew in Srinagar were issued by virtue of powers vested under Section 144.

“In view of restrictions aimed at COVID-19 containment, mass gathering would be detrimental to efforts related to containment as well,” the order added.

The order said only medical emergencies would be exempted as the restrictions would come into force with immediate effect and continue up to August 5.

Also read: Is the removal of special status for J&K justified?

In fact, the Kashmir Valley saw sudden severe restrictions being imposed on Monday. Officials said it was in the wake of a spike in COVID-19 cases.

“Suddenly, there is heightened security and surveillance in the valley. Not like non discriminatory COVID virus will be more active in the days approaching 5th August so clearly this is being done to ensure that anger and frustration felt by people here remain hidden,” tweeted Iltija Mufti, daughter of Peoples Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti.

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