Kashmir: Curfew Ends in Shopian, Shutdown Continues

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Published: September 22, 2013

Updated: September 22, 2013

protes CRPF

SRINAGAR: A 15-day-long curfew in Shopian town of south Kashmir has been lifted on Sunday.

It was imposed on September 7 after the paramilitary CRPF shot dead four youth outside their camp in Gagren area.

Four days later the CRPF killed another youth, prompting the authorities to re-impose the curfew just a few hours after it had been relaxed.

This morning residents were seen moving out of their houses, although shops are still closed due to a shutdown. Residents want the CRPF camp to be removed from the area.

The process of replacing the CRPF personnel in the camp with state policemen, ordered by the government, has begun.

However local traders have sought a deadline from the district authorities regarding the completion of process. A journalist in the area told FreePress that the deputy commissioner, Shopian, has promised that the shifting process will be complete by October 10.

He said the traders will meet again among themselves to decide on ending the shutdown.

Confusion

Meanwhile the police have maintained that three of the youth killed in the first incident of firing (Sept 7) were civilians while the fourth was a militant of the Lashkar-e-Toiba outfit, Abdullah Haroon.

They had said the same thing immediately after the incident, but were forced to send a mobile phone and SIM card, recovered from the youth, for forensic tests to Chandigarh.

This, after the state cabinet asked them to come clear on the youth’s identity, as many, including a senior Congress leader Ghulam Hassan Khan, alleged that the slain man was a Bihari labourer.

The forensic test report is yet to come, and a magisterial probe ordered by the government is still on.

But the Inspector General of Police, Abdul Gani Mir, said that the youth was a confirmed militant as his colleague, Fahadullah, a senior LeT man arrested several months ago, had identified him.

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