Curfew-like curbs in Kashmir Valley on eve of Burhan Wani’s death anniversary
Security has been stepped across Jammu and Kashmir to avoid a repeat of the violence that rocked the Valley after Burhan Wani was killed.india Updated: Jul 07, 2017 16:54 IST
Internet services were patchy and curfew-like restrictions put in place in large parts of the Kashmir Valley on Friday as separatists have called for a week-long protest to mark the first death anniversary of Hizbul militant Burhan Wani.
To avoid a repeat of the violence that rocked Kashmir after Wani was killed in a gunfight with security forces on July 8, 2016, security has been stepped across Jammu and Kashmir.
Last summer’s street protests left 100 people dead, most of them civilians, as locals regularly clashed with security forces.
The Hurriyat Conference leaders have called shutdowns on July 8, and July 13 when 22 Kashmiris died during protests against the regime of Maharaja Hari Singh in Srinagar in 1931. They have also asked people to visit homes of slain militant leaders on July 9.
Internet services were blocked for more than 12 hours before they were suddenly restored at around 11am on Friday.
Sources said the cyber restrictions were put in place to prevent spread of rumours or thwart bid to mobilise protesters but it was not clear why the services were brought back up.
Security forces on several occasions have said protesters and militants use messaging platforms to bring crowds together.
The government has called in 21,000 additional central forces personnel in view of the Hurriyat Conference’s call for a shutdown on Saturday.
Movement has been restricted and curfew-like curbs are already in force in most parts of the old city of Srinagar.
The separatist protest call coincides with that of Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin, recently declared a global terrorist by the US.
Salahuddin has said Hafta-e-Shuhuda (martyrs’ week) will be observed beginning July 7 on both sides of the line of control.
First Published: Jul 07, 2017 13:55 IST