The government on Friday imposed restrictions across Kashmir especially in Downtown Srinagar, Pulwama, Anantnag, Kulgam and Shopian districts on the eve of first death anniversary of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani.
TRAL UNDER 'SIEGE'
A witness said curfew remained in place across Tral, the native place of Burhan since wee hours of Friday. Even congregational Friday prayers were, for the first time, disallowed at Khanqah Faizpanah, Tral.
"I am 70 years old and I have never seen a ban on Friday prayers at Khankhah-Faizpanah," said Auqaf president, Bashir Ahmed.
A police officer said: "Today we allowed some people to venture out after checking their identity cards. Tomorrow (on Saturday), no one will be allowed to come out of their homes," he said.
Mobile internet and even broadband services were snapped in Pulwama, Anantnag, Kulgam and Shopian districts.
After Friday prayers, mild clashes broke out between protestors and government forces at old town Anantnag. Protestors were raising pro-Burhan and pro-Hizb slogans. They were dispersed off by the forces personnel.
Graffiti of Burhan and slain Lashkar-e-Toiba commander Bashir Lashkari were spotted in Kokernag, Bomdooru, and other areas of Anantnag, a witness said.
A group of residents alleged that Army had drawn a line from two sides at Chawalgam village of Kulgam with a message that "no one should cross the line on the either side."
Earlier, residents of Kulgam and Anantnag alleged forces conducted nocturnal raids, prompting many youth to flee their homes. In Soaf-Shali, the native village of Bashir Lashkari, pro-Burhan and pro-Lashkari processions were taken out. Late evening reports said a banner was erected at KP Road and Old Town Anantnag with text: "Central Committee Hizbul Mujahideen Srinagar" alongside photographs of Burhan, Salahudin and Geelani. Similar banners were spotted at martyrs' graveyard at Reshibazar in Anantnag town, Bijbehara, Shopian, Khudwani, Redwani in Kulgam and also at some places on Srinagar-Jammu highway.
Meanwhile, official sources said section 144 would remain strictly in place in Anantnag, Pulwama, Kulgam, Shopian, and Ganderbal districts of Kashmir on Saturday.
Strict restrictions were put at place over movement of public transport in Baramulla district on Friday.
A contingent of police appeared at sumo stand Baramulla this morning and directed the operators to stop service to Srinagar, locals said. Similar restrictions were imposed at several places in Sopore town.
Meanwhile, clashes between youth and government forces erupted at Hajin in Bandipora district after Friday prayers.
For the third consecutive Friday, government didn't allow congregational Friday prayers at Jamia Masjid in Downtown Srinagar, triggering massive resentment from Auqaf committee Jamia Masjid.
Restrictions under Section 144 CrPc would be imposed in entire Srinagar city on Saturday to prevent protests and rallies on Burhan's anniversary.
"Restrictions on movement of public and transport under Sec 144 CrPC would remain in force in all police station areas of district Srinagar on , July 8," deputy commissioner Srinagar, Farooq Ahmed Lone told Greater Kashmir. However, essential services and government employees would be exempted, he said.
"Restrictions shall also not be applicable to accredited and registered media persons performing their professional duties," he said.