Shutdown observed in Kashmir on Burhan Wani’s death anniversary

Srinagar: Normal life came to a standstill in Kashmir on Monday as separatists called for a shutdown to mark the third death anniversary of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani and security forces imposed strict instructions to avoid any law and order situation, officials said.

Restrictions were imposed in four police station areas of Nowhatta, Khanyar, Safakadal and Maharajgunj in Srinagar, they said. Curbs were imposed as a precautionary measure to maintain law and order and avoid any untoward incident, the officials added.

Wani, once a poster boy of militancy in the Valley, was killed in an encounter with security forces on 8 July, 2016, in Kokernag area of south Kashmir’s Anantnag district.

His killing triggered massive protests and a prolonged period of curfews and shutdowns across the valley. Over a period of more than four months, 85 people were killed and thousand others injured in clashes between security forces and protestors.

The separatists, under the banner of the Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL), appealed people to observe a complete shutdown on Monday, and asked people living in Tral and adjoining areas to “pay tributes to every martyr in their vicinity” and take the pledge to carry the mission of the “martyrs” to its logical end.

Meanwhile, shops, fuel stations and other business establishments were shut across Srinagar, the officials said.

While public transport was off the roads, a few private cars and auto-rickshaws were seen plying in some parts of the city.

The officials said similar reports of shutdown were received from other district headquarters of the valley.

Mobile internet services were suspended in the four districts Anantnag, Kulgam, Shopian and Pulwama of south Kashmir, while the speed of internet was throttled in other areas of the valley, they added.

Security forces were deployed in strength at sensitive places across the valley to avoid any untoward incident, while no movement of convoys of the armed forces was allowed on the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway, the officials said.

On Sunday, Director General of Police Dilbag Singh said every step had been taken to ensure that the day passes off peacefully.

He also said that there would be no restrictions on the movement of the Amarnath Yatra pilgrims and the yatra would continue.