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Day passes off peacefully amid restrictions, internet, voice calling blockade

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Will review situation Friday afternoon for further course of action: IGP

Security forces march in Srinagar’s Lal Chowk on Thursday as restrictions were imposed in Valley in the wake of the death of separatist politician, Syed Ali Geelani. Photo/Javed Khan

Srinagar: As restrictions were imposed across the Kashmir Valley on Thursday with mobile internet and voice calling snapped in the wake of death of the separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, authorities said that the same will continue tomorrow.

In a statement issued Thursday evening, a police spokesman said that the situation, in the aftermath of the death of Geelani, remained peaceful and no untoward incident was reported from anywhere.

Geelani breathed his last on Wednesday night. Immediately after his death, police and paramilitary CRPF personnel were deployed across Srinagar and other towns of the Valley “as a precautionary measure”, officials said. They said there were apprehensions of law and order problems during and after the aged leader’s funeral.

Meanwhile, the roads in Srinagar and elsewhere were dotted with police and paramilitary personnel in wearing riot gear. “Outside the Hyderpora residence of Geelani, there was huge deployment of police and CRPF men since Wednesday evening. Roads leading to the Geelani’s residence were sealed with concertina wires,” witnesses said.

Meanwhile, roads and streets in Srinagar and elsewhere wore a deserted look as only security forces’ vehicles could be seen making rounds. Public transport was off the roads and all the shops and other commercial establishments remained shut in the wake of curbs imposed by the authorities.

Speaking to reporters outside Geelani’s Hyderpora residence late on Wednesday evening, IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar had said that they will impose curbs and shut the internet and mobile telephony across networks. BSNL, however, allowed its subscribers to use its voice-calling service but shut its internet (fixed landline broadband) facility on the network.

With mobile telephony and internet shut, people had to face lot of problems. Students, who have been taking on-line classes as the schools and colleges remain shut for in-person teaching and learning owing to the COVID pandemic, could not take their classes today. Similarly the people, whose family members work or study outside, too could not communicate with them.

“My brother is working outside Kashmir. Our family has not spoken to him since yesterday because of the communication lockdown imposed by the government authorities,” said a Srinagar resident while another said that he has not been able to speak with his daughter who is studying outside.

“As of now, only BSNL mobile service is working in Kashmir but in our family, we don’t have any BSNL connection. My daughter is studying in Bangalore and I am not able to speak to her. We are worried about her,” he said.

Meanwhile, Police said that similar restrictions and Internet shutdown will continue tomorrow.

“We shall review the situation tomorrow afternoon and take further course of action,” the IGP said.

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