India imposes curfew in Kashmir after Afzal Guru’s execution
SRINAGAR: Security forces imposed a curfew Saturday in parts of Indian-administered Kashmir while the centre of the main city Srinagar was sealed off by police after the execution of a separatist.
Residents in rural areas said police used loud hailers to order them to stay indoors from daybreak as it emerged that Mohammed Afzal Guru, a member of an Islamist group fighting Indian rule in the divided region, was to be hanged.
Although there was no formal curfew order in Srinagar, police hastily erected barricades across main entry roads and in the city centre in a bid to prevent any possible demonstrations against the execution.
Three police helicopters could also be seen hovering overhead in Srinagar, the main city in what is India’s only Muslim majority state.
Authorities at the University of Kashmir in Srinagar meanwhile issued a statement announcing that examinations due to take place on Saturday had been cancelled.
Guru was executed at a jail near Delhi after being found guilty of conspiring with and sheltering militants who attacked the Indian parliament in December 2001, an incident that brought India and Pakistan to the brink of war.
India alleged the militants behind the parliament attack were supported by Pakistani intelligence, leading the nuclear-armed rivals to deploy an estimated one million troops to their borders for eight months.
A former chief minister of Kashmir once warned that executing him would lead the country to “go up in flames” because of a backlash from rebels in Indian-administered Kashmir.