India increases restrictions in Kashmir ahead of separatist call for protests

Kashmir issue, Kashmir, Pakistan ban, India, Jammu and Kashmir, Article 370, Delhi, UN, Srinagar

The security forces had been deployed at strength at many places to maintain law and order.

By Reuters, PTI

Published: Fri 23 Aug 2019, 9:53 AM

Last updated: Fri 23 Aug 2019, 8:15 PM

Authorities in Srinagar tightened security ahead of Friday prayers after separatists called for a protest march to a UN office, with streets bristling with paramilitary personnel and some blocked by checkpoints.
Posters appeared overnight this week in Srinagar calling for a march to the office of the UN Military Observer Group for India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP), to protest against India's revocation of Jammu and Kashmir state's special autonomy.
The call by separatists seeking Kashmir's secession from India was the first since that decision on August 5, which brought communication and travel restrictions in Kashmir that are still largely in place. Some landlines were restored last week.
Shops shut
The security forces had been deployed at strength at many places to maintain law and order.On Friday, several dozen paramilitary personnel manned at least two barriers on the main road leading to the office of UNMOGIP in Srinagar and public movement around it was blocked.
Entry into the city's old quarter, which has long been a centre for protests, was severely curtailed, as policemen blocked street after street with concertina wire.
Large swathes of Srinagar remained deserted with shops shut except for some provision stores with shutters half-down.
Police vans patrolled some areas announcing a curfew and asking people to stay indoors.
On the Dal Lake, long rows of houseboats, which would typically be packed with tourists this time of the year, floated closed and empty, as police patrolled its mirror-calm waters in boats.

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