Strict curfew lifted in Indian-administered Kashmir
SRINAGAR: Police on Saturday lifted a strict curfew across Indian-administered Kashmir imposed one week ago after the secret execution of Muhammad Afzal Guru, a Kashmiri convicted of involvement in the 2001 attacks on the Indian parliament.
Authorities also restored mobile internet and cable television services that were blocked fearing massive protests by Kashmiris, said police officer Ashok Prasad. Anti-India sentiment runs deep in the region.
Guru was hanged February 9 in a New Delhi jail and buried there. The attack on the Indian parliament had killed 14 people, including five gunmen. Many in Kashmir believe Guru did not receive a fair trial, and the secrecy with which the execution was carried out fueled anger in the region.
A strict 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.
Even as the curfew ended on Saturday, big shops and businesses remained closed in response to a two-day strike called by the All Parties Hurriyat conference, an umbrella organisation of separatist political and religious groups, protesting the detention of more than 100 people and demanding their immediate release.
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 venders and small neighborhood grocery stores also were back in business.