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Restrictions imposed in parts of Srinagar on Martyrs’ Day

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Mirwaiz detained; Friday prayers barred at Jamia Masjid

Srinagar, Jul 13: Authorities imposed restrictions today on movement of people in parts of the city ahead of the separatists' call for a march to the Martyrs' Graveyard near Nowhatta while Hurriyat-M  leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was detained.

The restrictions were imposed in Khanyar, Maharajgunj, Nowhatta, Rainawari and Safakadal police station areas as a precautionary measure to maintain law and order, officials said.

The separatists had called for a march to the Martyrs' Graveyard at Naqshband Sahib (RA) shrine to pay homage to 22 people killed in firing by Dogra soldiers on this day in 1931.

Mirwaiz Farooq was detained outside his residence in Nigeen area of the city and taken to the local police station, a police official said.

“He was taken into preventive custody as his presence in old city area could lead to violence by his supporters,” the official added.

More than 22 men were killed in firing by soldiers of Dogra Maharaja Hari Singh on this day in 1931 during protests against his autocratic rule.

Earlier Mirwaiz stepped out of his Nageen residence along with his dozens of supporters and tried to march towards Mazar-e-Shohada. However, a large contingent of police and paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) already deployed there stopped them from marching towards Naqshband Sahib (RA) shrine, which houses Martyrs' Graveyard.

Talking to media before being detained, Mirwaiz said “these martyrs are the torch-bearers of our struggle for self-determination who set the precedent to stand up to repression and fight for our fundamental right, the right to be masters of our destiny.

“Tremendous sacrifices of life have been made since July 13, 1931, and lakhs of Kashmiris have been martyred and continue to be killed for the fulfillment of freedom quest,” Mirwaiz told reporters.

Mirwaiz said: “Undoubtedly it is an uphill task that the brave people of the nation have undertaken but to break the yoke of subjugation and achieve freedom is the dream of every nation which is worth all the struggle and sacrifice being offered.”

Mirwaiz also welcomed the statement of UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres backing High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein’s call for international investigation into human rights situation in Kashmir calling it the “voice of the UN”.

Mirwaiz said instead of calling the UN report biased and fallacious, New Delhi should understand that it cannot forever cloak the “gravest human rights abuses being perpetuated here by their forces” from the eyes of the world.

“Truth always comes out and no amount of denial or propaganda can change that fact,” Mirwaiz said.

Meanwhile, the authorities today barred Friday prayers at Jamia Masjid Srinagar by enforcing restrictions in old city parts to prevent a march called by the separatists.

Taking to Twitter, Mirwaiz said that he tried to defy curfew but was arrested and stopped from paying tribute to July 13, 1931 martyrs killed by Dogra army.

“Arrested!tried to defy #HouseArrest to pay tribute to Martyrs of 1931.Undoubtedly its an uphill task that the brave people of the nation have undertaken but to break the yoke of subjugation & achieve freedom is the dream of every nation which is worth all the struggle& sacrifice,” Mirwaiz tweeted.

A huge contingent of police and paramilitary CRPF personnel was deployed in parts of downtown Srinagar in view of Joint Resistance Leadership’s (JRL) call for march towards Martyrs’ Graveyard at Naqashband Sahib (RA) shrine.

Valley also observed shutdown today with shops, other business establishments, gas stations and public transport remaining shut.

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