Week-long curfew in Inderkote-Sumbal

A week-long curfew (December 19-26) was imposed in north Kashmir’s Inderkote-Sumbal in Bandipora district, about 40 kilometres from city-centre after group clashes broke out in the area on December 19. Violent clashes broke in the area when a scuffle between two youths turned into a full scale riot between two groups of people, prompting authorities to clamp curfew to bring situation under control and prevent clashes from spreading. Senior police officials including Inspector General of Kashmir (IGP), S M Sahai and DIG north Kashmir range Muneer Khan, visited curfew-bound area to take stock of the situation. Speaker Legislative Assembly and MLA Sonawari, Mohammad Akbar Lone presided over a meeting on December 26 that was attended by Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Dr. Asgar Samoon; Deputy Commissioner Bandipora, Manzoor Ahmad Lone, police officials and prominent citizens of the area. Chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), Mohammad Yasin Malik, Moulana Showkat Hussain and Agha Hassan Budgami were reportedly arrested near Sumbal on December 22 as they were on their way to Inderkote “to intervene and urge people to remain calm”. However, curfew was lifted from the area after community leaders gave an assurance that peace and calm will be maintained. Separatists, religious and mainstream political leaders appealed people to maintain calm.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-31 January 2011 on page no. 15

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