Militants strike at three places in Kashmir, curfew continues

Militants strike at three places in Kashmir, curfew continues

Srinagar: Militants struck at three places in Sopore in North Kashmir, leaving two policemen injured as curfew remained in force in violence-hit areas of of the valley for the fourth day today.

Army, which staged flag marches in Srinagar, did not repeat the exercise this morning. The district administration asked the force to remain on stand by for deployment in case of an emergency.

The authorities were working on plans to give phased-relaxation in curfew to allow people to offer prayers.

Chief minister Omar Abdullah held an early morning review of the situation with senior administration and police officials and discussed the plan of curfew relaxation keeping in mind Friday prayers and Shab-e-Mehraj, a religious function, tomorrow.

Omar has also convened an all-party meeting in Srinagar on Monday to discuss present situation.

Suspected Lashkar-e-Taiba Militants hurled three grenades at a police convoy in the outskirts of Sopore city, 54 kms from here at 0030 hours today, official sources said.

The grenades were followed by heavy firing which was effectively retaliated by the security personnel, they said, adding no one was injured.

The second incident took place at 0130 hours at main crossing of the city in Sopore, which left a jawan of Indian Reserve Police injured.

The third incident took place on Sopore-Baramulla road on 0230 hours when terrorists fired upon police vehicles, leaving one of the police drivers injured, the sources said.

Additional paramilitary forces comprising eight companies (800 personnel) sought by the state arrived last evening and were immediately deployed in troubled areas of Srinagar city.

The curfew restrictions forced local media persons to stay indoors and newspapers did not hit the stands for the second day today.

Curfew was also being enforced strictly in Srinagar, where three persons were killed in alleged firing by security forces on Tuesday.

Amid intercepts suggesting involvement of hardline separatists in engineering some of the violence in the Valley, the state government carried out massive raids during the night and arrested a dozen people including Shabir Ahmed Wani, district president of Hurriyat Conference led by pro-Pakistan separatist Syed Ali Shah Geelani.

Home minister P Chidambaram had hoped yesterday that Army would not be required for too long in the valley and had appealed to the people to observe the restrictions.

“Army was deployed at the request of government of Jammu and Kashmir. I am not at liberty to disclose where it has been deployed. But I can assure that most of the places affected are still being patrolled and curfew enforced by J and K Police and paramilitary forces," he had said in New Delhi.