Burhan's anniversary: JK govt imposes restrictions to prevent protests

Burhan's anniversary: JK govt imposes restrictions to prevent protests

Burhan's anniversary: JK govt imposes restrictions to prevent protests
Jammu and Kashmir government imposed curfew like restrictions across the Valley on Saturday to prevent protests and rallies on the first death anniversary of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani.

However, despite restrictions, protesters clashed with security forces at several places in which more than a dozen civilians were injured due to pellet gun shots, reports said. In south Kashmir's Shopian district, ten people, including eight women, were injured after forces fired pellets to break up a protest rally.

Witnesses said that forces raided a locality in the town to stop the 'Jihadi anthem' being played on the public address system of a masjid. However, people, mostly women stopped the forces from entering the mosque. The forces, they said, fired pellets at the protesters, resulting in injuries to ten people.

Reports of clashes were received from Tral, the native town of Burhan, after police and paramilitary troopers raided the home of the slain commander where people had assembled for fateha (prayers). Witnesses said that the policemen and CRPF troopers asked Burhan’s father Muzaffar Wani to vacate the tent erected inside the premises of his house in five minutes.

This angered the youth who were present there and soon clashes erupted between the two sides. Reports said that six youth were also detained during the clashes.

In neighbouring Tahab and Pichul areas of Pulwama district, the army conducted a flag march to prevent pro-Burhan rallies and protests, local media reported.

Authorities had imposed curfew in areas under the jurisdiction of five police stations in old city Srinagar while restrictions were imposed in rest of the city to prevent separatists called a march. The separatists had called for a complete shutdown to mourn the death of Burhan and also asked people to march towards Tral.

Security forces had laid steel barricades and coiled razor wire on roads and intersections to cut off neighbourhoods as authorities anticipated widespread protests.  In view of the prevailing situation, ongoing Amarnath yatra was suspended for a day as no pilgrim was allowed to move towards the valley from Jammu on Saturday. The intra-Kashmir train services between Baramulla and Banihal town were also suspended.

Internet services on both mobile phones and broadband connection also remain suspended for the second day on Saturday. Authorities claimed this was done to prevent the spread of propaganda by "anti-national" elements on social networking websites.

The state government has already announced a 10-day summer vacation in all educational institutions from July 6. The vacations coincide with a protest schedule issued by the separatists and Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir based United Jehad Council (UJC), an umbrella of militant organisations.

22-year-old Burhan, who kept the security agencies on tenterhooks for six years, before getting killed in a brief gunfight in Kokernag, Anantnag on July 8, last year is considered a poster boy of new-age militancy in Kashmir.  His killing triggered a month-long unrest that left more than 90 civilians, mostly youth, dead in action by security forces. Two cops were also killed during the protests.

Given the massive unrest triggered last year due to Burhan's killing, authorities had beefed up security to ensure that situation remains under control this time.
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