Kashmir remembers Mirwaiz Farooq, A G Lone on their anniversaries

Authorities impose curbs in Downtown parts to foil AAC’s Eidgah march; Mirwaiz Umar, others placed under house detention
Kashmir remembers Mirwaiz Farooq, A G Lone on their anniversaries

Kashmir observed a shutdown on Tuesday to mark the anniversaries of Mirwaiz Moulana Muhammad Farooq, Abdul Gani Lone and victims of Hawal massacre. The government had imposed curbs to prevent congregational gathering at the martyrs' graveyard, Eidgah.

Chairman Hurriyat Conference (M) Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, whowas supposed to lead a rally from Jamia Masjid Srinagar to the martyrs'graveyard, was placed under house detention at his Nigeen residence sinceMonday evening.  

Several other leaders, including senior Hurriyat (M) leaderPeoples Political Party (PPP) chairman Er Hilal Ahmed War, were also placedunder house arrest.

The call for shutdown was given by the separatist leadershipand the Awami Action Committee (AAC).

Mirwaiz Muhammad Farooq was killed on 21 May, 1990, whileKhawaja Abdul Gani Lone was killed on 21 May, 2002, by unidentified gunmen atEidgah.

In 2009, the government of the time had allowed Mirwaiz Umarto lead a procession to Eidgah. Since then, all successive regimes barredcongregational gathering at Eidgah on 21 May.

The shutdown call disrupted the normal life as all thecommercial establishments, educational institutions, and private institutionsremained closed for the day in Srinagar.

In Srinagar, the administration had ordered closure of allschools and colleges as a "precautionary measure", while stringent curbs wereput in place in the areas falling under the jurisdiction of five policestations in Downtown—Nowhatta, Rainawari, Safa Kadal, Khanyar and Maharaj Gunj.

Police and paramilitary CRPF wearing riot gear had beendeployed in these areas to prevent protest rallies.

"At many places barbed wires were also placed on roads toprevent movement of people," a witness said.

He said all roads leading to Eidgah had been sealed bysecurity forces. 

Reports from southern districts Pulwama, Shopian, Anantnagand Kulgam suggested the strike call evoked a good response thoughinter-district transport wasn't affected much. Shutdown was also witnessed innorthern districts of Kupwara, Baramulla and Bandipora.

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