In 2017, Tral shut for 72 days to protest militant, civilian killings

In 2017, Tral shut for 72 days to protest militant, civilian killings

In remembrance of local militants, this year Tral shuts four times on the anniversaries of slain Hizb commander Abid Khan, Burhan Muzaffar Wani and his brother Khalid Muzaffar Wani.

After the death of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Muzaffar Wani in 2016, Kashmir observed consecutive shutdown for six months and Tral township of Pulwama district was the epi-centre. In the following year 2017, Tral observed shutdown for more than two months.

As per data available with Greater Kashmir, in 2017 Tral township has observed shutdown for 72 days. The shutdown was mostly observed against the killing of militants and civilians in the area. “After the death of militants and civilians the area observes spontaneous lockdown for six to seven consecutive days to mourn their killing,” said locals.

Out of 72 shutdowns, the area observed most of the shutdowns against the killing of militants and civilians. From February 14 to December 16 the area shuts 40 times to mourn the militant and civilian killings. On 16 occasions the area remained shut while following the Kashmir Bandh call by Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL).

In remembrance of local militants, this year Tral shuts four times on the anniversaries of slain Hizb commander Abid Khan, Burhan Muzaffar Wani and his brother Khalid Muzaffar Wani.

On the first death anniversary of Hizb commander Burhan Wani on July 8 and 9 this year, authorities imposed curfew in Tral and its adjoining areas. The town was turned into a garrison to prevent people from reaching there. Hundreds of personnel were deployed in the town. Police, Army and paramilitary CRPF men were on toes to ensure no gathering takes place in the native home town of Burhan.

All roads leading to Tral were sealed with concertina wires and armored vehicles were stationed at major check points to prevent or discourage the movement of pedestrians and vehicles.

The first shutdown was observed on 27th January on the second death anniversary of local Hizb commander Abid Khan and the last was observed on December 16 to mourn the death of a non-local Jaish-e-Mohammad (JEM) militant namely Umer Bhai.

The prolonged shutdown was observed twice during this year. The first major shutdown was observed on 27th of May when a civilian and two Hizb-ul-Mujahideen militants Sabzar Ahmed Bhat and Faizan Ahmed Bhat were killed in a gunfight at Saimoh village of Tral. The area observed complete shutdown for seven consecutive days. Similarly on August 9 this year, the area witnessed another major shutdown for seven days when a civilian and three local militants were killed in Gulab Bagh hamlet of Tral.

During these shutdowns, all shops, business establishments, government and private offices have remained closed in town while public transport was off the roads. On the other hand clashes between youth and government forces were seen frequently in the area during shutdowns.

Meanwhile, police maintained that they did not impose restrictions anywhere in the town and facilitate free movement of people and traffic. 

SP Awantipora, Mohammad Zahid Malik, talking to Greater Kashmir said that police did not impose any curbs in the area and people have themselves observed frequent shutdowns. “We have just imposed two day curfew on the first death anniversary of Hizb commander Burhan Wani and rest people have themselves observed frequent shutdowns,” he said.