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Govt thwarts Shopian march, imposes restrictions

Authorities today imposed restrictions in parts of Srinagar and Shopian districts to foil the separatists’ plan of holding march to Shopian to protest against the recent civilian killings.

Separatist leaders Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik had called for a march to Shopian district to protest against the killing of three civilians in Army firing in Shopian on January 27.

Malik, who had managed to reach Shopian town, attempted to take out the march from the local Jamia Masjid, but was taken into custody by the policemen waiting outside, officials said.

Witnesses said that Malik was taken into custody after he came out of Jamia Masjid and tried to lead a protest against the killing of five civilians during past week. He was lodged in police station Shopian.

Soon after Malik was detained by the police, scores of youth pelted government forces with stones, witnesses said, adding that the forces responded by firing tear-gas to disperse the protesters.

Earlier, Malik had gone into hiding to evade arrest ahead of the proposed march to Shopian.

“Early morning, after two day long and tedious journey and hiding, Malik reached Jamia Masjid Shopian,” said a JKLF spokesman.

Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was also detained outside his Nigeen residence here as he defied the house-arrest orders and attempted to march towards Shopian, the officials added.

Meanwhile restrictions were imposed in areas falling under police stations Nowhatta, Khanyar, Rainawari, Maharajgunj and Safakadal in Srinagar. Restrictions were also imposed in some parts of Maisuma and Kralkhud police stations in the city.

Restrictions on movement of people and transport were imposed in Shopian district as well.

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