Burhan’s anniversary: strike, restrictions in Kashmir

AP/PTI File photo

Authorities imposed restrictions in parts of Kashmir valley, including summer capital Srinagar on Monday to ensure July 8 that marks the third death anniversary of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani, passes off peacefully.

The curbs were put in place in areas falling under five police stations of old city Srinagar including, Khanyar, SafaKadal, Maharaj Gunj, Nowhatta and Rainawari, as a precautionary measure, an official said. Restrictions were also imposed in Tral town in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district, the native place of Burhan.

Additional checkpoints have been set up on city roads and highways leading to Tral. The security forces have also set an armoured vehicle near the grave of Burhan at Eidgah, Tral, 36 kms from here, and sealed the road towards his residence in Shariefabad, reports said. Security forces led by Jammu and Kashmir Police, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and Army’s Rashtriya Rifles sealed all the entry and exit points leading towards Tral.

“We have received the orders to stay alert to thwart any militant attack or mob violence. There are only restrictions for outsiders and people of Tral can move freely,” said a police officer, wishing not to be named.

‘Joint Resistance Leadership’ (JRL), a conglomerate of separatists headed by Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and Yasin Malik have appealed to the people to observe complete shutdown on July 8. While Malik was arrested by the police on February 22 and is presently lodged in Tihar jail, Geelani and Mirwaiz have been placed under house arrest.

The ‘JRL’ also appealed to the people of Tral, the native area of Burhan, and adjoining areas to pay homage to the slain militant commander and others. In the last few weeks, the separatists had called no strike in the Valley as most of its leaders are under run after NIA crackdown on terror funding.

State police chief Dilbagh Singh said that all the security measures have been put in place to ensure July 8 passes off peacefully in Kashmir.

The 22-year-old Hizbul commander was killed in an encounter on July 8, 2016 along with two of his associates, in Kokernag area of Anantnag district. His killing had triggered wide-spread protests across Kashmir resulting in the death of over 90 civilian protesters while more than 10000 protesting people sustained injuries with 100 of them sustained grave pellet injuries in eyes leaving them partially or fully blind.

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