Curfew re-imposed in Handwara, protests in Kashmir varsities

SRINAGAR: A curfew was re-imposed in north Kashmir’s Handwara town on Monday following fresh protests and stone pelting. Students also held demonstrations in Srinagar and Awantipora campuses.

Students of Kashmir University protest against the recent civilian killings at Handwara, at Kashmir University campus in Srinagar on Monday. Photo: Nissar Ahmad

Students of Kashmir University protest against the recent civilian killings at Handwara, at Kashmir University campus in Srinagar on Monday. Photo: Nissar Ahmad

However, normalcy is returning elsewhere in the Valley as Internet restrictions were lifted in the morning.

Curfew was re-imposed in Handwara, which saw three deaths of civilians on Tuesday, as protests erupted again in the morning. The authorities had lifted curfew restrictions for three hours there. However, people assembled in the town and held demonstrations.

Protesters raised anti-India slogans and threw stones at security forces. “The curfew was immediately imposed in the town,” said a senior police official.

Nearby Kupwara town was also tense but no clashes were reported.

Demonstrations were also held at Kashmir University (KU), Srinagar, and Islamic University of Science and Technology (IUST), Awantipora. Students were protesting killing of five civilians in security forces’ firing since Tuesday. Students of IUST tried to hit the streets but were stopped. They also raised anti-India slogans and demanded action those responsible for the civilian deaths.

Earlier, in the day, the authorities lifted restrictions on the Internet after four days.

The Kashmir Valley was on the edge following killing of three civilians during a demonstration in Handwara town on April 12. Protests were sparked by alleged molestation bid on a girl by an armyman. However, the girl has denied she was molested or harassed by the security personnel.

Two more incidents of firing, later last week, left two more civilians dead in Kupwara during demonstrations. The cycle of violence stopped on Saturday, helping the situation to return to normalcy.

An inquiry is on to look into the Handwara killings and a report will be submitted within 30 days.