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Restrictions in Kashmir as separatists call for rally on leaders’ death anniversary

The separatists rally was called to commemorate the death anniversaries of Mirwaiz Mohammad Farooq and Abdul Gani Lone.

india Updated: May 21, 2018 21:15 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Srinagar
Kashmiri separatist,Kashmir,Eidgah march
Policemen stand guard behind concertina wire during a strike called by separatists to mark the death anniversaries of Mirwaiz Mohammad Farooq and Abdul Gani Lone in Srinagar on May 21.(REUTERS)

Authorities on Monday imposed restrictions in parts of Srinagar to thwart a proposed rally by separatists on the death anniversaries of two separatist leaders even as life was affected in rest of the Kashmir valley due to a shutdown.

Separatist leaders under the banner of Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) had called for a shutdown and urged people to gather at Martyrs Graveyard in Eidgah area of old city to commemorate the death anniversaries of Mirwaiz Mohammad Farooq and Abdul Gani Lone.

Police and CRPF laid iron barricades and concertina wires to block many parts of old city including Eidgah to prevent any mass movement and gathering of people.

“Restrictions have been imposed in areas falling under five police stations of downtown while Masiuma and Kralkud areas have been partially put under restrictions,” said a police official.

Shops, businesses and educational institutes were mostly closed while public transport movement was very negligible following the shutdown call. All Kashmir University examinations scheduled for the day were postponed. Authorities also suspended train services between south and north Kashmir fearing protests.

JRL leader Syed Ali Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq were put under house arrest ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit last weekend while Yasin Malik was in police custody.

Mirwaiz Umar, who is son of Mirwaiz Mohammad Farooq, expressed his anger over the restrictions.

“The Nation today joins to pay glowing tributes to the peoples leader #ShaheedEMillat Mirwaiz Mohammad Farooq, #ShaheedEHurriyat Abdul Ghani lone and the #61Martyrs of #Hawal Massacre on their Martyrdom anniversary. The rulers will not allow us to collectively commemorate this day… at Eidgah Martyrs graveyard as #YoumETajdeedEAhed as half the city has been put under severe curfew and restrictions but the commitment to carry forward the legacy of our Martyrs till freedom from occupation runs deep in the heart of each one of us! ,” he said in two consecutive tweets.

Mirwaiz Mohammad Farooq was killed by unidentified assailants on this day in 1990. Many others were killed on the day when security forces allegedly opened fire on mourners bearing the body of the chief priest. While commemorating the day in 2002, another separatist leader Abdul Gani Lone was also shot dead on the same day at Eidgah.

This is third day of restrictions in old city since Saturday when Prime Minister Narendra Modi was in Kashmir to inaugurate some developmental projects.

First Published: May 21, 2018 17:11 IST