Restrictions in Kashmir to prevent protests called by separatists
Separatists called for protests to observe Afzal Guru’s death anniversary on February 9.india Updated: Feb 09, 2018 12:24 IST
Restrictions were imposed in Srinagar and other parts of the Kashmir Valley on Friday to prevent separatist-called protests on the death anniversary of Parliament attack convict, Afzal Guru.
Guru was hanged inside the Tihar Jail in Delhi on February 9, 2013, for his role in the 2001 attack. His body was not handed over to his family in north Kashmir’s Sopore town and was instead buried inside the jail premises. Activists and people in Kashmir have been critical of the hanging.
Separatist leaders like Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik called for a shutdown to commemorate the death anniversaries of Guru and another separatist leader Muhammad Maqbool Bhat, who was hanged in Tihar on February 11, 1984. They have been reiterating the demands for the return of Guru’s and Bhat’s mortal remains.
A police official said that restrictions have been imposed on the orders of district magistrates under section 144 in downtown (Old City) Srinagar and north Kashmir’s Sopore town.
In areas where restrictions were not imposed, shops and business establishments were closed while traffic movement was also minimal. Rail services were also suspended as a precautionary measure.
Large contingents of police and CRPF manned the roads even as concertina wires and roads blocks were laid to prevent mass movement of people in some areas where restrictions were imposed.
Geelani and Umer Farooq continue to remain under house arrest while Yasin Malik has been lodged in the Central Jail.
Muzaffarabad-based umbrella of militant groups called the United Jihad Council (UJC) headed by Syed Salahuddin has supported the protest shutdown.
Contingents of police and paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in full riot gear have been deployed in the restriction imposed areas.
Train services between north Kashmir’s Baramulla town and Banihal town in the Jammu region have been suspended as a precautionary measure.