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Srinagar:

This year, Kashmir was kept under tight security a week earlier to maintain law and order in the valley. The authorities tightened the security on Friday to prevent large scale demonstrations on July 8 that marks the second death anniversary of the slain militant. Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) gave the protest call on Sunday in favour of Burhan Wani.  As a result, additional checkpoints were setup on the roads and national highway to stop people from proceeding to Tral, the home town of slain militant. Separatist leaders including Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik were also put under house arrest

The 22-year-old Hizb commander was killed in an encounter on July 8, 2016 along with two of his associates, at Bamdora village of Kokernag in Anantnag district. His killing had triggered wide-spread protests across Kashmir resulting in the death of over 100 people including two cops while more than 15000 protesting people sustained injuries owing to clashes.

JRL had urged people to offer congregational prayers for Burhan after Friday prayers. The trio had also called for a shutdown on Sunday and asked people to throng Burhan’s hometown Tral for paying tributes to the young militant commander. United Jihad Council (UJC) headed by Syed Salahudin also called for observing ‘Burhan Day’ on either side of the Line of Control that divides the erstwhile J&K between India and Pakistan.

Additional Director General of Police Muneer Khan revised the security meeting in Srinagar on Thursday and in a statement said that it was decided that a series of measures would be put in place from Saturday onwards to ensure no major law and order problem occurs.

A police source said that the separatist leadership will continue to remain under house detention or under preventive custody till July 10.  While Geelani continues to remain under house confinement since 2010, Mirwaiz too was placed under house detention since Thursday evening. The JKLF chief Yasin Malik was arrested and detained at the Kotibagh police station. The source said that other middle-rung leaders will also be taken into preventive custody and lodged in various police stations.

Police officials said that Kashmir will remain under thick security cover and the “primary focus will be on restive southern towns including Tral.” Meanwhile, police and CRPF have already started massive frisking operations across Kashmir especially on the Srinagar-Jammu highway that leads to Tral. JRL in a joint statement has condemned the curbs terming them “undemocratic”. Hurriyat factions and JKLF in separate statements have also expressed anguish over the widespread security cover laid around Kashmir to bar people from praying for a slain militant leader.

 

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