Clampdown in Kashmir total, no TV, phones or internet

As the tension continues in Kashmir the government has intensified the clampdown paralysing the state for the eighth day in the wake of clashes following killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani that has left 38 persons dead and over 3100 injured.

"Curfew continues to remain in force in all 10 districts of Kashmir valley today as precautionary measure for maintaining law and order," a police official said.

Police allegedly raided printing press of two major English and Urdu dailies on Friday night and seized newspaper copies. Beleaguered Mehbooba Mufti government has launched a major clampdown on the local media in an apparent bid to block news.

Police official said today the decision to continue the curfew was taken in view of large number of stone-pelting incidents across the valley on Friday. Police and paramilitary personnel have been deployed in strength across the Valley for strict implementation of the prohibition orders, the official said.

Mobile telephone services in the Valley also remained suspended to prevent rumour-mongering. "Only postpaid connections of BSNL are working," the official said.

Mobile internet services continued to remain suspended for the seventh day today while trains are also off the tracks in the Valley as a precautionary measure.

The only mobile service functional in the Valley is Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) and the only internet connectivity is the BSNL broadband service.

In a surprising move the government also asked the cable TV operators to stop their services. "We were asked at around 11pm last night to stop the service", said a cable TV operator in Srinagar.

Police also seized copies of major Urdu and English newspapers in the Kashmir Valley following midnight raids on the printing press creating an information blackout as mobile services also remained suspended.

"Policemen seized the plates of Greater Kashmir and more than 50,000 printed copies of 'Kashmir Uzma' (Urdu daily) and closed down the GKC printing press," a report on the website of Greater Kashmir said.

The editor of another English daily said, "Our vehicles were seized at dawn. We were not allowed to send papers out." One of the largest circulating newspapers 'Greater Kashmir' also complained of being raided by the police at midnight.

In the ensuing clashes with security forces, 38 persons including a cop have been killed while 3,140 persons including 1,500 security force personnel have been injured.

Violent protests rocked Kashmir last weekend following killing of Burhan Wani and two of his associated in an encounter with security forces on 8 July in Kokernag area of Anantnag district.

Normal life has remained paralysed since last in Kashmir on account of separatist sponsored-strike and curfew-like restrictions imposed by authorities.

The separatists groups - both factions of Hurriyat Conference and the Jammu & Kashmir Liberation Front - have been issuing strike calls, a practice reminiscent of 2010 summer agitation. The separatists groups yesterday extended the strike call till Monday evening.