Burhan death anniversary: PoK based UJC chief calls for week long agitation

Burhan death anniversary: PoK based UJC chief calls for week long agitation

Burhan death anniversary: PoK based UJC chief calls for week long agitation

 The Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK) based United Jehad Council (UJC), Monday called for a week-long agitation to mark the first death anniversary of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani.

Burhan was killed in an encounter by security forces on July 8 last year. His death triggered one of the worst periods of unrest in Kashmir, in which more than 90 civilians were killed in five months of street protests.

The PoK based Syed Salah-ud-Din, who heads the UJC, an umbrella of militant organisations, said 'Hafta-e-Shuhuda' (martyrs’ week) would be observed beginning July 7 on both sides of the Line of Control (LoC).

"To pay tributes to Burhan Wani and the 1931 martyrs, there would be state-wide shutdown on July 8 and July 13. Also, public gatherings would be held, especially in Tral township, to pay homage to Wani," he said in first video message. 22 Kashmiris were killed while they were protesting against the autocratic regime of Maharaja Hari Singh outside Central Jail in Srinagar on 13 July 1931.

“On July 10 and 11, people will visit the families of martyrs to express solidarity with them and help them financially,” he said and asked people to offer special namaz for the “freedom movement and destruction of the enemy" on July 12.

Last year after Burhan's killing separatists issued weekly 'protest calendars' almost for six months. During the 2008 and 2010 unrests, they would do the same. However, it is unusual for the UJC to issue such an agitation programme.

It comes at a time when 40-day long Amarnath yatra to south Kashmir Himalayas is set to begin on June 29 from twin routes of Baltal and Chandanwari. The announcement of agitation programme in the midst of the yatra by a top militant commander from PoK has thrown a new challenge for security forces.

"In view of the prevailing situation, the security was already a concern during the yatra period. However, the UJC announcement has made it clear that Pakistan wants to create disturbance during the pilgrimage time which is a challenge for us," a senior police officer told Deccan Herald.

He said they have started bracing for the death anniversary of Burhan by increasing security deployment in south Kashmir and along the highways. More than 45 people - including civilians, security forces and militants - have been killed in the month of Ramzan in the Valley, which ended on Sunday.