‘Anti-Islam’ film: Valley shuts down
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The shutdown in the Valley on Friday against the film Innocence of Muslims, perceived to be anti-Islam, was complete and was marked by protests. The government had imposed restrictions in certain parts of Srinagar and jammed cellular and Internet services for several hours across the Valley. Though private cellular operators blocked the services from Thursday night, BSNL jammed its services from afternoon. The services resumed in the evening.
Sources said the police had reports that certain groups would try to exploit the situation by organising violent protests after Friday prayers. The police had imposed restrictions in the downtown localities since morning and all sensitive places were sealed off. Restrictions were also imposed in certain parts of South Kashmir's Anantnag town.
Though no religious or separatist group had called for the shutdown, shops remained closed and traffic remained off the roads. Angry protesters pelted stones at vehicles on the national highway.
Separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani and Grand Mufti Bashiriddin had called for peaceful protests after Friday prayers. Geelani had even called for suspension of work for two minutes in offices and business establishments. Apprehending trouble, the government had already declared holiday in all government and private educational institutions of the Valley.
In the morning, separatist women's group — Dukhtaran-e-Millat — took out a protest in Srinagar. The police used tear smoke shells and lathicharge to disperse them. Earlier, the police also detained Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front chairman Yasin Malik from the city. Soon after Friday prayers, protesters clashed with the police in North Kashmir's Baramulla town.
Police spokesman said peaceful marches against the film were taken out across the Valley.
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