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Kashmir shuts on Burhan Wani’s death anniversary

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Youth attempt to defy curfew in Tral village

Photo/Javed Khan

Srinagar, Jul 08: A complete shutdown was observed across Kashmir on Sunday on the second death anniversary of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani, who was killed in an encounter with the government forces on this day two-years ago.

Authorities imposed strict restrictions across parts of the Valley to thwart protest rallies announced by joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) comprising Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik.

Severe restrictions were in place in “sensitive areas” of Srinagar, south Kashmir and other parts of the Valley while curfew was imposed in Tral, the home town of Wani, for the second day today to thwart protests.

The graveyard of Wani and his residence at Shariefabad was also sealed by the government forces.

Reports said that scores of youth tried to defy curfew in Arigam and Nawdal villages and march towards the residence of Wani in Shariefabad to pay tributes to him on his second death anniversary. However, government forces deployed in strength in the area chased them away, triggering clashes.

Police and paramilitary CRPF personnel fired tear gas to disperse the protesters who pelted them with stones.

Walls, shop-fronts and shutters in the town were also painted with pro-Burhan Wani graffiti.

On July 08, 2016 Burhan Wani along with his two associates were killed in a brief encounter with government forces in Bamdoora Kokernag area of south Kashmir.

Soon after his death Kashmir erupted with protests and strikes for six months. During six months of protests around 100 civilians were killed and thousands of others got injured.

While Geelani and Mirwaiz were placed under house arrest, Malik was taken into preventive custody.  The separatist trio had called for a public meeting in Tral and a state-wide shutdown today to pay tributes to Wani.

In the wake of killing of three youth, including a girl in Army firing in Kulgam yesterday, they had asked people to observe today as a black day.

Mobile Internet services were suspended throughout the Valley while the speed of fixed line broadband connections was slashed.

Meanwhile, in Srinagar, restrictions remained in force in areas under the jurisdiction of Nowhatta, Khanyar, Rainawari, M.R. Gunj and Safa Kadal police stations in old city. Partial restrictions remained in place in areas under the jurisdiction of Kralkhud and Maisuma police stations.

Heavy contingents of police and paramilitary forces were deployed in sensitive areas in Srinagar and other district headquarters.

Rail services were also suspended as a precautionary measure.

In view of the strike, shops, fuel stations and other business establishments were shut across Srinagar and other district headquarters.

Public transport was off the roads while few private cars and auto-rickshaws were seen plying in some areas of the city.

The strike also affected the weekly flea market, though some roadside fruit vendors went about their business as usual in some uptown areas of the city.

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