India eases post-execution curfew in Kashmir

Police say they have lifted restrictions imposed to clamp down on protests prompted by hanging of a Kashmiri man.

    A strict curfew across Indian-administered Kashmir that was imposed after the secret execution of a Kashmiri man has been lifted, police say.

    Police officer Ashok Prasad said on Saturday that authorities had also restored mobile internet and cable television services that were blocked fearing massive protests by Kashmiris.

    Al Jazeera's Divya Gopalan, reporting from Srinagar, said that the curfew had been eased overnight and not reimposed by authorities on Saturday morning.

    There were pockets of violence in Srinagar in the morning on Saturday, with young men pelting stones at security bunkers. Police responded by attempting to disperse the crowd of protesters with batons.

    Gopalan said that police were still deciding whether or not to reimpose the curfew.

    Curfew after execution

    Mohammed Afzal Guru was hanged on February 9 in a New Delhi jail and buried there. Guru had been convicted of involvement in a 2001 attack on India's parliament that killed 14, including five gunmen.

    A curfew has been in place since the execution, but groups of demonstrators have defied it and clashed with government forces. Three protesters have been killed and more than 100 have been detained, according to police.

    Many in Kashmir believe that Guru did not receive a fair trial, and the secrecy with which the execution was carried out fuelled their anger.

    The curfew was relaxed in some areas in recent days, but was restored ahead of Friday prayers in the Muslim majority region.

    The All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC), an umbrella organisation of separatist and religious groups, has extended its strike and protest call until Monday.

    Even as the curfew ended on Saturday, big shops and businesses remained closed in response to the APHC's call.

    Private cars and motorbikes were back on the streets in the Kashmir Valley, but state-run and private buses stayed off the roads.

    Fruit and vegetable vendors and small neighbourhood grocery stores were also back in business.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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