SRI NAGAR: The Army increased its presence in south Kashmir on a day when its chief, General Dalbir Singh Suhag, visited the unrest-hit Valley, and the authorities reimposed curfew in some parts to foil protests. Curbs meant that Friday prayers were not held at the historic Jamia Masjid in downtown Srinagar and many other mosques for the ninth consecutive week.
General Suhag, who met Governor N N Vohra, urged the Army to sensitise people, especially the youth, to eschew violence to restore peace at the earliest.
Army vehicles and soldiers were patrolling highways. In some areas of south Kashmir, Armymen have been deployed in inner roads to foil demos. At many places people attempted to take out protest rallies after Friday prayers and forces fired teargas shells and pellets, injuring over 100 people.
Hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani alleged that the government had prepared a “kill list” of separatist leaders, activists, civil society members, business leaders, government employees and journalists.
Shaken by Kashmiri people’s resolve, he further said, India had once again started the “farce” of engagement that it “time and again has used to divert attention from the reality”. “They will come again to ask — what do we want. They know the answer to that question. We want freedom,” Geelani said after being barred from addressing a press conference at his home on the outskirts of the capital in the morning.
Alleging that a group of gunmen were being readied for the task, Geelani warned the Centre and the state government against going for such a “misadventure”. He also said Burhan Wani’s killing had ended the “smokescreen” created “in the form of Abdullahs, Muftis, Lones and the sundry”, whom he termed “collaborators”.