On Martyrs Day Kashmir Valley remains under tight security | india | Hindustan Times
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On Martyrs Day Kashmir Valley remains under tight security

india Updated: Jul 13, 2010 21:20 IST
Peerzada Ashiq

While Chief Minister Omar Abdullah paid tributes to the martyrs killed in 1931 in an uprising against the dynastic Dogra rule, tight security and stringent restrictions were put in place in Kashmir to foil any attempt by separatists to march towards the martyrs' graveyard to pay respect on the Martyrs Day.

Huge contingents of police and paramilitary were mobilised last night to secure the graveyard at Naqshband Sahib in old Srinagar, which is a bastion of All Parties Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq.

No civilian was allowed to venture out on the streets in the area since morning leaving most streets in downtown Srinagar deserted.

Early in the day, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and his father, union Minister for Renewable Energy Farooq Abdullah, paid floral tributes and offer prayers at the graveyard of the martyrs, who were killed on this day in 1931 day when the central jail in Srinagar was stormed and jail guards opened fire killing many people.

"They (the martyrs) laid the edifice for democracy, social justice and independence (in Kashmir)," said the Chief Minister in an official statement.

Opposition Peoples Democratic Party patron Mufti Muhammad Sayeed also paid tributes to the martyrs.

The separatists' call to march towards two main graveyards - one at Naqshband Sahib and the Eidgah, where people killed since 1989 are buried - kept security forces on tenterhooks. The separatists' call to march towards United Nations office in Srinagar was also foiled by stringent security measures taken by the government. Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code was enforced to stop any assemblage of separatists or their supporters.

As a precautionary measure, restrictions are in place throughout Srinagar to protect civilian life and property from the designs of anti-social elements, said a police officer on condition of anonymity.

The authorities, however, imposed a curfew in Batmaloo area, where four people were killed in security forces action recently. Curfew was also clamped in north Kashmir Sopore area, 55 north of Srinagar.

Most of separatists leaders continue to be behind the bars, including hardline Syed Ali Shah Geelani. The Mirwaiz was, however, placed under house arrest. The shutdown call by separatists continues to affect normal life in Kashmir for more than a month now. There were no open shops, traffic on roads, or public movement on streets today.