SRINAGAR: The PDP-BJP coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir imposed curfew like restrictions, deployed thousands of security personnel, snapped internet services, suspended Amarnath Yatra and train services in Kashmir on the first death anniversary of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani on Saturday.
Thousands of police, CRPF, SSB and army men were deployed in four volatile districts of south Kashmir, summer capital Srinagar and other parts of the Valley to maintain law and order and foil anti-India protests and pro-Burhan rallies.
The security men had placed barricades and concertina wires on the roads to restrict public movement and enforce restrictions.
All the entry points in four volatile districts of south Kashmir – Anantnag, Pulwama, Kulgam and Shopian – were sealed by the security personnel to prevent people from visiting the Tral, the native place of Burhan, to pay homage to the slain Hizb commander.
Army also conducted flag marches at some places in Pulwama.
22-year-old Burhan was killed in an encounter with security forces in Kokernag area of Anantnag district on July 8 last year. His killing had triggered over five months long unrest in the Valley during which 90 people were killed and more than 13,000 injured in security forces firing on protestors.
The security personnel armed with anti-riot gears were also deployed in strength on Srinagar-Jammu national highway besides summer capital Srinagar and other parts of the Valley.
Due to security clampdown, people preferred to stay indoors today. All shops, business establishments and petrol pumps remained closed while public transport was off the roads.
The security personnel had sealed the graveyard at Tral, where Burhan is buried, to prevent people from visiting there to offer special prayers for slain militant commander’s soul.
Sources said scores of motor bikes were seized by police during last few days in south Kashmir to prevent people especially youth from travelling between the villages to reach Burhan’s home at Tral.
The separatist leaders Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik had called for Valley-wide shutdown today and asked people to reach Tral to pay homage to Burhan.
The authorities put curbs on movement of separatist leaders. They were either placed under house arrest or detained to prevent them from leading pro-Burhan rallies.
The authorities also suspended the ongoing Amarnath yatra for the day today.
CRPF spokesman in Srinagar Rajesh Yadav told New Indian Express that yatra to cave shrine of Amarnath in south Kashmir Himalayas was stopped today due to security concerns.
He said no yatra convoys were allowed to move to Valley from Jammu today.
Over 21,000 security personnel deployed for yatra duty were today deployed for law and order duty in south Kashmir and other parts of the Valley, a police official said.
The mobile internet and broadband services remained suspended in the Valley for the second consecutive day today. The services were snapped yesterday.
The train services between Banihal and Baramulla in Kashmir also remained suspended for second consecutive day today, the police official said.
He said all necessary security measures were taken to ensure peace in the Valley on Burhan’s death anniversary.
It was for the first time that the State government had enforced such an unprecedented security measures on death anniversary of a militant commander in the Valley.
Meanwhile, clashes erupted after security personnel intercepted a group of youth attempting to march towards Burhan’s grave at Tral. The security men fired tear smoke shells to disperse the youth, who were chanting pro-freedom slogans and pelted stones on them.
The security personnel also fired pellets and tear smoke canisters towards a group of people at Bangam area of south Kashmir’s Shopian district after the locals resisted their action to stop youth from chanting pro-freedom and pro-Burhan slogans from public address system of a mosque.
At least 10 people sustained injuries in the security forces action. Some of the injured were hit by pellets.
The minor clashes also erupted near the residence of Burhan after about 300 people president inside his residence tried to venture out and stage a march. The cops fired tear smoke shells to disperse them.
Reacting to imposition of curbs by the government, separatist leaders Geelani, Mirwaiz and Malik said the “paranoia and panic” that gripped the state administration on death anniversary of Burhan was an “acknowledgment that even his memory that lives in each Kashmiris heart as a symbol of resistance and courage, is a threat to the mighty Indian state despite its huge military control.”