Curfew was today extended to several places in Kashmir in view of the separatists' call for a march to the heart of the city even as restrictions on the movement of people were in force in rest of the Valley.
"Curfew remained in force in entire Srinagar district and Anantnag town but was extended to several other places as a precautionary measure in view of the call for march to Lal Chowk by certain elements," a police official said. He said curfew was imposed in Ganderbal town, Awantipora, Tral, Pampore, Baramulla town, Sopore town, Bandipora town, Kaloosa, Papchan and Ajar areas of the Valley.
"Curfew was also imposed in Wargam area of Beerwah in Budgam district following yesterday's sectarian clashes," he added. Despite curfew, separatists elements managed to hoist Pakistan flags in many localities across Kashmir to mark the Independence Day of the neighbouring country, he said adding security forces pulled down the flags as soon as they were noticed.
Authorities suspended Internet and mobile services across the Valley yesterday as part of the security drill ahead of the Independence Day celebrations tomorrow. While broadband services were snapped yesterday evening, the mobile telephony was suspended late last night, the official said.
"Only BSNL postpaid mobiles are working while broadband services are available only at Lal Chowk, Sonawar and Bemina telephone exchanges," he added. Normal life remained paralysed for the 37th consecutive day due to curfew, restrictions and separatist sponsored strike following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in an encounter with security forces on July 8.
The separatist camp, headed by Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik, had asked the people to hold a "referendum" march at Lal Chowk yesterday and today. As many as 56 persons including two policemen have been killed and several thousand others have been injured in the clashes that began on July 9.