Kashmir shuts on Burhan's death anniversary

Kashmir observed a shutdown on Monday to mark the third death anniversary of slain Hizbul-Mujahideen commander BurhanWani, who was killed in an encounter with security forces on this day in 2016 in southern Kashmir’s Anantnag district.

The shutdown call was given by separatist leadership. Since morning elaborate security arrangements were put in place in various parts of downtown amid stringent curbs to prevent any possible protests. “Security forces’ personnel wearing riot gears were standing guard on roads almost everywhere in downtown and curbs were being enforced from early morning,” an eyewitness said.

The administration had imposed restrictions under section 144 in downtown areas that include SafaKadal, Khanyar, Rainawari, Nowhatta and Mahrajgunj “as precautionary measures to save life and property.”

While curbs remained in force throughout the day, amid heavy deployment of forces, separatist leaders including chairmen of parallel factions of Hurriyat Conferences Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Syed Ali Geelani, and other separatists including Abdul GaniBhat and ErHilal Ahmed War were placed under house arrest.

In South Kashmir’s Anantnag, Pulwama, Kulgam and Shopian districts, there was a heavy deployment of security forces. A witness said that a tight vigil was maintained on commuters at various check points on the highway and in the southern districts. The authorities had also reduced speed of internet in Srinagar while as the internet was snapped in all southern districts. A police official said that the day passed off peacefully and there was no untoward incident reported from anywhere in Kashmir.

RESTRICTIONS MARK THE DAY IN TRAL

Meanwhile, authorities on Monday put in place strict restriction in Tral, native town of slain HizbulMujahideen commander BurhanWani.

Throughout the day the men-in-uniform didn’t allow anyone to proceed towards the main town. “It (the town) is a restricted zone. We have strict orders to not allow any kind of movement,” a paramilitary men told a pedestrian near Eidgah Road. At Shariefabad, where Burhan’s parents live, the road leading to their house was manned by soldiers, while as some security force personnel remained deployed outside his residence.  Apart from a few stone pelting incidents there was a complete lull in the main town. During the day choppers hovered over skies to assess the situation.

According to reports joint forces including J&K police, CRPF and Army’s Rashtriya Rifles had sealed all entry and exit points to the main town to prevent any traffic movement, adding to the hardships faced by locals to reach respective destinations. “We are not in favor of restricting public movement but we do not want to see any law and order problem arising here. That is why we have imposed restrictions,” said a senior police officer.