Restrictions, strike marks Martyrs Day in Kashmir

Security personnel stand guard during restrictions at Downtown in Srinagar. (PTI Photo)

Authorities imposed restrictions in parts of Srinagar city on Saturday to thwart separatist called protests in connection with the Martyrs Day even as the complete shutdown was observed across Kashmir.

The shutdown call was given by separatists to remember 22 Kashmiris, who were gunned down by the army of autocratic Dogra ruler after the people rose against Maharaja’s rule for their rights on July 13, 1931.

Shops, public transport and other businesses remained closed in Srinagar and many other towns in the Valley. Heavy deployments of security forces have been made to maintain law and order in Srinagar and other places in the valley.

July 13 is being observed as Martyrs Day in Kashmir officially since the autocratic Dogra rule ended in 1947. While the separatist leadership is prevented from holding a rally on this day, the heads of the local government visit the graveyard and offer tributes to the martyrs.

A police official said restrictions were imposed in old city areas of Srinagar a precautionary measure to maintain law and order.

Advisor to the governor, Khursheed Ahmad Ganai, politicians and top officers of the civil administration paid floral tributes to July 13 martyrs in Srinagar. Ganai who was accompanied by Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Baseer Ahmad Khan offered prayers at the graves of the martyrs at the shrine of Naqshband Sahib in Nowhatta early morning.

However, like the previous years, the function was given a miss by the BJP leaders, who consider it as a “black day.” 

Meanwhile, Amarnath Yatra was suspended on Saturday with no pilgrim allowed to move towards the Valley from Jammu due to shut down, police said.

“Taking stock of the law and order situation because the protest shutdown called by the separatists today, movement of the pilgrims from Jammu to Srinagar will remain suspended today,” police sources said.

Since the annual pilgrimage to the Himalayan cave shrine started on July 1, over 1.50 lakh pilgrims have performed the Yatra so far.

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