SRINAGAR/NEW DELHI: The police have directed Internet service providers to block social media sites and snap mobile Internet services in Kashmir for an indefinite period from Thursday evening, two days ahead of the first death anniversary of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani, even as Home Minister Rajnath Singh chaired a high-level meeting at North Block to review security preparations in Jammu and Kashmir ahead of Wani’s anniversary.
Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir, Munir Ahmad Khan, in an order directed lease line Internet service providers to block all social media sites via lease lines from 10 pm on Thursday night. The order states that if it is not possible for the service providers to block social media, then the Internet service should be shut down for an indefinite period. Police sources said authorities are likely to suspend 2G, 3G and 4G data services across the Valley as a precautionary measure for the next few days to prevent circulation of videos, audios and pictures.
Burhan was killed in an encounter with security forces in south Kashmir’s Kokernag area on July 8, 2016.
The security apparatus across the Valley, especially in the south Kashmir districts of Anantnag, Pulwama, Shopian and Kulgam has been beefed up.
Police, CRPF, Army, BSF and ITBP personnel have been deployed in strength in south Kashmir and other parts of the Valley to maintain law and order and foil anti-India protests and separatist rallies.
“Whatever measures are needed to maintain law and order would be taken. Every preventive measure would be taken to ensure peace in the Valley,” Munir Khan said.
In New Delhi, Rajnath Singh’s meeting with officials, including home secretary Rajiv Mehrishi, Intelligence Bureau director Rajiv Jain, Central Reserve Police Force head Rajiv Rai Bhatnagar and Border Security Force chief K K Sharma lasted for close to two hours, following which the agencies were directed to remain vigilant on a 24/7 basis.
The CRPF and BSF have been asked to secure their camps.
During the last 48 hours, 35 to 40 inputs have been received by the intelligence agencies hinting that terror masterminds in Pakistan are desperate to mount a major jihadi offensive targeting the security forces.
“We are well prepared to handle any situation in Kashmir. We have sent 214 companies of central forces to control any situation which may arise on July 8 and during the Amarnath yatra,” Rajiv Mehrishi said.
ISI-backed groups are said to be circulating videos eulogising Burhan Wani on social media groups. The United Jehad Council led by Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin has given a call to protest Wani’s killing on Monday.
Sources said as a precautionary measure, the Railways has decided to suspend a train service from Banihal for two days.