Curfew in Srinagar ahead of first anniversary of revocation of Article 370

Authorities in Srinagar on Monday clamped curfew in the city in view of “specific inputs” about violent protests on August 5, the first anniversary of the revocation of Jammu and Kashmir”s special status under Article 370.

Srinagar District Magistrate Shahid Iqbal Choudhary said in an order that the curfew will come into force with immediate effect and shall remain in effect on August 4 and August 5.

Srinagar Senior Superintendent of Police has reported that a series of inputs have been received suggesting that separatist and Pakistan-sponsored groups are planning to observe August 5 as “Black Day” and violent action or protests are not ruled out, the DM said.

“There are specific inputs about violent protests endangering public life and property,” the order said.

Choudhary said any mass gathering would also be detrimental to efforts related to the containment of COVID-19.

The SSP report further suggests that in view of restrictions aimed at COVID-19 containment already in place, the movement and assembly of people have been prohibited, the DM said.

“Thus, any such mass gathering would be detrimental to efforts related to COVID-19 containment as well,” he said.

The order said 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 the said report and examining the situation in backdrop of prevailing factors, I, District Magistrate, Srinagar, by virtue of powers vested in me u/s 144 CrPC hereby order complete restrictions on public movement / curfew in territorial jurisdiction of District Srinagar,” the order read.

However, medical emergencies and movement of staff on COVID-19 duty with pass/valid cards shall be exempted from the restrictions, the order said.

These 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.