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Afzal Guru hanged: Curfew in Kashmir likely to continue till Feb 11

Feb 10, 2013 07:32 AM IST India India

Srinagar: A day after Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru was hanged, an uneasy calm prevails over Kashmir. Afzal Guru was a resident of Sopore. On Saturday, 30 people, including security personnel, were injured when protests erupted in the district following news of his hanging. There is a curfew in Kashmir and will be in place till February 11, the death anniversary of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) leader Maqbool Bhatt.

On Saturday, after the hanging of Afzal Guru, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah addressed the press and said that he had been kept informed about the decision to execute him. He said that he had been asked to prepare for any fallout in the state. He told mediapersons that all necessary precautionary measures had been taken in all districts and that the police, and not the Army, had been entrusted to maintain vigil.

He did later clarify though that his government had "no role to play" in signing the death warrant of Afzal Guru. "Since Afzal Guru had no case here in Jammu and Kashmir, the government did not have any role to play in signing the execution warrant or the death warrant," he said.

Meanwhile, Hurriyat Conference leaders Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and Syed Ali Shah Geelani, who were in Delhi at the time, were soon placed under house arrest.

Sajjad Lone, the leader of the People's Conference, has now said that the least that the Omar Abdullah government could do was recall its minister from the UPA.

The execution of Afzal Guru was not just a sensitive matter in Jammu and Kashmir but an emotive one as well. In 2011, the state Assembly had tried to pass a resolution seeking clemency for Afzal Guru, and on Saturday, his family members demanded that his remains be handed over to them.

That plea has been rejected by the government which says that it could further complicate the matters. The execution of the Parliament attack convict, however, will continue to be a security watchpoint for the government. The curfew will continue and its repercussions will be closely watched over the next three days.