Burhan Wani's death and a year of living dangerously

Curfew in Valley on Wani's death anniversary

Children cover their nose as they walk away from smoke shells fired by police during clashes in Srinagar on July 8, 2017, the first death anniversary of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani.

Children cover their nose as they walk away from smoke shells fired by police during clashes in Srinagar on July 8, 2017, the first death anniversary of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani.   | Photo Credit: Nissar Ahmad

Clashes break out when protesters were blocked from reaching Burhan Wani’s family home at Tral in South Kashmir.

Curfew and other restrictions were imposed in large parts of the Kashmir Valley on Saturday, the first death anniversary of Hizbul Mujahideen “commander” Burhan Wani.

Wani was killed in a gunfight with security forces in the Kokernag area of Anantnag district last year.

A police official said all roads leading to Wani’s house in the Tral area of Pulwama were sealed. A bid to organise a march was foiled.

All major towns, including the capital Srinagar, were placed under tight security restrictions. Security forces disallowed any movement of vehicles. A police official said the situation was under control all day “due to well-planned measures taken on the ground”. However, clashes broke out in parts of Shopian, Pulwama, Srinagar and Anantnag. Security forces used smoke shells to disperse protesters.

 

Highway ban

The authorities stopped traffic on the Srinagar-Jammu highway. No Amarnath pilgrim was allowed to proceed to the Valley. Train services were also suspended. Internet services on landline and mobile phones were also suspended. Scores of quick-reaction teams were deployed around sensitive locations in south and north Kashmir “to keep militants at bay”.

However, three soldiers were injured on Saturday morning when militants opened fire at an Army patrol in Bandipora’s Hajin area. “All the injured are stable,” said the Army.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh chaired a high-level meeting to review the security scenario in the Valley. Separatist leaders, including Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Syed Ali Geelani and Yasin Malik, accused the security forces of “unleashing a reign of terror against civilian population on Wani’s anniversary”.

All top separatist leaders remained under house arrest. However, JKLF chief Yasin Malik was put in the Central jail.

Pak. PM pays tribute

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif paid tributes to Burhan Wani, saying his death “infused a new spirit in the struggle for freedom” in the Kashmir Valley. Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa also praised Burhan.

Meanwhile, Burhan’s father appealed for peace and harmony in the Valley. “I don’t want any untoward incident or killing. I only want peace and harmony,” Muzaffar Ahmad Wani said in a video message.

In-depth: Burhan Wani death and a year of living dangerously

Amarnath yatra suspended from Jammu

In view of the prevailing situation in the Valley, the Amarnath pilgrimage has been suspended from the Bhagwati Nagar base camp in Jammu till further orders.

The yatra, however, continued from Pahalgam and Baltal base camps in Kashmir. From Jammu, the pilgrims reach Pahalgam or Baltal base camp, before proceeding to the cave shrine.

(With inputs from agencies)

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Printable version | May 30, 2020 1:14:12 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/burhan-wani-death-anniversary-clashes-break-out-near-his-hometown-tral/article19239280.ece

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