SRINAGAR: The security agencies have prepared a plan to deal with security challenges in Kashmir on the first death anniversary of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani on July 8 and are likely to stop the ongoing annual Amarnath yatra and ban mobile internet on the day.
“We are ready to deal with any situation on the death anniversary of Burhan. Adequate measures would be taken to maintain law and order and foil anti-India protests and rallies in volatile south Kashmir and other parts of the Valley,” a senior army official told New Indian Express.
The separatist leaders Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik have called for a shutdown on July 8 to mark the first death anniversary of Burhan, who was killed in a gunfight with security forces in south Kashmir’s Kokernag area on the day last year. They have asked people to march towards Tral, the home town of Burhan on July 8 to pay homage to the slain militant.
The army official said security agencies are keeping a close watch on the situation and necessary measures would be taken to ensure the day passes off peacefully without any violence.
Over 90 people were killed and over 13000 injured in security forces firing on protestors during clashes in over five month long unrest in Valley after Burhan’s killing.
The army official said two additional army battalions brought from outside State have been deployed in south Kashmir to prevent free movement of militants and foil anti-India protests and rallies.
He said army will be assisting police and CRPF in maintaining law and order on July 8.
CRPF spokesman in Srinagar, Rajesh Yadav said adequate deployments would be made in the sensitive areas of south Kashmir and other parts of the Valley on the day.
He said, of course, security arrangements would be tighter than the normal days.
Asked whether ongoing Amarnath yatra will be stopped for the day on July 8 in view of security concerns, Yadav said the decision in this regard will be taken a day before.
“The orders will be issued either tomorrow or day whether to continue the yatra on July 8 or stop it,” he said.
Police sources said additional forces brought to Valley for yatra duty besides the already present CRPF companies would be deployed on July 8 to maintain law and order.
The police companies and contingents of army and other central forces would also be utilized on the day to foil anti-India protest marches and separatist rallies, they said.
A police officer said tough restrictions will be imposed in most parts of the Valley especially in all four districts of south Kashmir – Anantnag, Kulgam, Pulwama and Shopan – to prevent the situation from taking an ugly turn.
Since Burhan’s killing, south Kashmir is on the boil and over 100 youth have joined militancy in the region.
“The separatists will try their bit to create a 2016-like situation in the Valley by fuelling anti-India sentiments on July 8. However, we are alert and would make every effort to ensure that law and order situation is not disturbed,” he said.
The police officer said they would go for preventive detentions of known stone pelters and trouble mongers to avoid any breach of peace on the day.
The police and paramilitary forces are conducting raids across the Valley to arrest the stone pelters and “trouble mongers”.
The police officer said the separatist leaders won’t be allowed to visit Tral on July and they would be either placed under house arrest or detained in police stations to ensure peace.
“The mobile internet services in Valley may be snapped for a day or a two for security reasons and prevent spreading of rumours. Every necessary measure would be taken to prevent Valley from plunging into 2016-like situation,” he added.