SRINAGAR: Despite imposition of tough curfew-like restrictions on the first death anniversary of slain Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani, clashes erupted in some places in south Kashmir including his hometown Tral in volatile Pulwama district on Saturday.
Authorities imposed the restrictions in most parts of south Kashmir, comprising four districts of Anantnag, Pulwama, Shopian and Kulgam, summer capital Srinagar and other parts of the Valley, today to maintain law and order and foil protest marches and rallies to mark the anniversary.
Thousands of police, CRPF, SSB and army men were patrolling the roads to enforce restrictions to foil protests.
Burhan was killed in an encounter with security forces in Kokernag area of south Kashmir’s Anantnag district on July 8 last year. His killing had triggered over five months' long unrest in the Valley during which 90 people and over 13,000 civilians were injured in security forces' firing on protestors.
The clashes erupted at Bangam area of south Kashmir’s Shopian district after the local population resisted an attempt by security men to stop the locals from chanting pro-freedom and anti-India slogans from public address system of the mosque in the area.
The men, women and children staged a protest to resist the move and clashed with the security personnel, who fired tear smoke shells and resorted to pellet firing to disperse the protestors chanting pro-freedom and anti-India slogans.
According to reports, at least 10 people sustained injuries in the security forces action. Some of the injured have been hit by pellets.
The clashes also erupted in Tral, Burhan’s home town, after security personnel allegedly raided his residence. About 300 people had gathered there to pay homage to Burhan on his first death anniversary.
Reports said the police and CRPF men fired tear gas shells to disperse the people. The youngsters in retaliation pelted stones on the cops, triggering the clashes.
In Tral town, the youth tried to defy curfew and march towards Burhan’s grave at Sharifabad area. However, the youth were intercepted by security men. The cops resorted to tear gas shelling to disperse the agitating youth, who were chanting pro-freedom and pro-Burhan slogans and pelted stones on them.
“The graveyard where Burhan was buried was completed sealed by security forces last evening. None was allowed to enter the graveyard without permission of the security personnel,” the locals alleged.
Pro-Burhan graffiti has come up at some places in the Valley including Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir.
Most of the separatist leaders have either been detained or placed under house to prevent them from leading or attending pro-Burhan rallies or protests.
The authorities have also snapped internet services in the Valley as a precautionary measure.
It is for the first time that authorities have resorted to unprecedented security measures and enforced curfew-like restrictions on death anniversary of a militant commander in the Valley.